Cancer is a disease that involves abnormal cell growth, which originates in particular tissues and organs of the body and metastasizes to other parts of the body. Cancer can be a result of several factors, such as nutrition, environment, physical activity, and genetics.
Cancer rates vary between countries depending on medical technology, environment, and different campaigns or initiatives set forth by governments to prevent cancer. Cancer tends to be more prevalent in high-income countries due to lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, and alcohol intake.
Numbers show that men have higher cancer rates than women do in almost every type of cancer. Males can carry about a 20% higher risk than females of developing cancer.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world behind cardiovascular disease. It is estimated that every sixth death in the world is due to cancer. While the total number of deaths from cancer is increasing, this is likely the result of aging and growing populations. Luckily, cancer treatment advancements across the spectrum of types of cancers are continuing at a rapid pace. Many people who are diagnosed with cancer are living longer or are cured. Countries with sound health care systems can better detect and treat cancer than countries lacking proper health care infrastructure.
The ten countries with the highest total cancer rates (number of people age-standardized per 100,000 people) are:
- Australia (468)
- New Zealand (438.1)
- Ireland (373.7)
- Hungary (368.1)
- United States (352.2)
- Belgium (345.8)
- France (344.1)
- Denmark (340.4)
- Norway (337.8)
- Netherlands (334.1)
Australia has the highest cancer rate in the world of 468 cases per 100,000 people. Australia specifically has some of the highest rates of breast cancer and melanoma in the world.