A-to-I RNA editing is an important post-transcriptional modification, known to be altered in tumors. It targets dozens of sites within miRNAs, some of which impact miRNA biogenesis and function, as well as many miRNA recognition sites. However, the full extent of the effect of editing on regulation by miRNAs and its behavior in human cancers is still unknown. Here we systematically characterized miRNA editing in 10 593 human samples across 32 cancer types and normal controls. We find that the majority of previously reported sites show little to no evidence for editing in this dataset, compile a list of 58 reliable miRNA editing sites, and study them across normal and cancer samples. Edited miRNA versions tend to suppress expression of known oncogenes, and, consistently, we observe a clear global tendency for hypo-editing in tumors, in strike contrast to the behavior for mRNA editing, allowing an accurate classification of normal/tumor samples based on their miRNA editing profile. In many cancers this profile correlates with patients’ survival. Finally, thousands of miRNA binding sites are differentially edited in cancer. Our study thus establishes the important effect of RNA editing on miRNA-regulation in the tumor cell, with prospects for diagnostic and prognostic applications.