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Cancer Rates By Country

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Cancer and its Global Impact

Cancer, a term encompassing a range of diseases characterized by abnormal cell growth, remains a significant health concern globally. In varying levels, this group of diseases impacts every country on Earth, creating a significant burden on health systems and societies. In this article, we will delve deeper into the incidence rate of cancer across countries.

The data indicates that some nations bear a heavier burden than others, and patterns emerge that warrant further study. Though cancer spares no geographical location, cultural group, or socio-economic class, differences in lifestyle, genetic predispositions, and access to healthcare can profoundly influence cancer rates.

Some key findings from the data include:

  • Australia has the highest cancer rate with 452.4 cases per 100,000 people, followed by New Zealand (422.9) and Ireland (372.8). 
  • The United States ranks fourth with a rate of 362.2 cases per 100,000. This suggests a high prevalence of cancer in high-income countries, which could be associated with lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and tobacco use, longevity, as well as sophisticated screening methods leading to high detection rates.
  • Predominantly low to middle-income countries like Bhutan (81.9), Nepal (80.9), and Gambia (79.5) report the lowest rates, implying that cancer incidence can be influenced by multiple complex factors. It can, however, also mean lower detection rates due to limited resources and infrastructure. 
  • While Denmark (351.1) and the Netherlands (349.6) follow closely behind the United States, rates in nations like Hungary (338.2) and Norway (327.5) round out the top ten, indicating that high cancer rates are not exclusive to any particular continent.

Countries with Highest Cancer Rates

The countries with the highest cancer rates in the world are Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United States, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, France, and Hungary. Australia tops the list with the highest cancer rate of 452.4 per 100,000 people. New Zealand follows with a cancer rate of 422.9 per 100,000 individuals, while Ireland's cancer rate is 372.8 per 100,000 population.

The United States ranks fourth with a cancer incidence rate of 362.2 per 100,000. Denmark follows closely with a cancer rate of 351.1 per 100,000. Netherlands and Belgium rank 6th and 7th respectively, with rates of 349.6 and 349.2. Canada reports 348.0 cases of cancer per 100,000 people, making it the 8th highest in terms of cancer rates.

France and Hungary round out the top ten, with France recording a cancer rate of 341.9 per 100,000 people and Hungary having a cancer rate of 338.2 per 100,000 individuals.

10 Countries with the Highest Cancer Rates per 100k people:

  1. Australia: 452.4
  2. New Zealand: 422.9
  3. Ireland: 372.8
  4. United States: 362.2
  5. Denmark: 351.1
  6. Netherlands: 349.6
  7. Belgium: 349.2
  8. Canada: 348.0
  9. France: 41.9
  10. Hungary: 338.2

Countries with Lowest Cancer Rates

At the top of this list is Niger, with a significantly low cancer rate of 78.4 per 100,000. Niger is a West African country with a predominantly rural population that may not share the same lifestyle and diet as those in high-income countries. Similarly, Gambia comes in second with 79.5 cases per 100,000 people, reflecting a minimal cancer incidence rate among its population.

Nepal and Bhutan, both countries situated in the Himalayan region, report low rates of 80.9 and 81.9 respectively. Their traditional diets, less exposure to certain environmental factors, or potentially even underreporting due to less advanced healthcare infrastructure may contribute to these numbers.

Other countries that feature on this list with comparatively low cancer rates include the Republic of Congo (84.4), Timor Leste (89.7), and Tajikistan, also clocking in at 89.7. Djibouti's incidence rate stands at a rate of 91.0 per 100,000 people.

Lastly, both South Sudan and Sudan, despite being tormented by conflicts and economic challenges, show surprisingly low cancer rates of 94.7 and 95.7 respectively. Whether these low rates can indeed be attributed to healthier lifestyle choices, genetic factors, or, more cynically, to data insufficiencies, is a topic warranting further exploration.

Ten Countries with the Lowest Cancer Rates (Per 100k People):

  1. Niger - 78.4
  2. Gambia - 79.5
  3. Nepal - 80.9
  4. Bhutan - 81.9
  5. Republic of the Congo - 84.4
  6. Timor Leste - 89.7
  7. Tajikistan - 89.7
  8. Djibouti - 91.0
  9. South Sudan - 94.7
  10. Sudan - 95.7

By Country

Full Data Set

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