United States Ranks Seventh in Global Cancer Rates

Countries With the Highest Overall Cancer Rates (per 100,000 Population)

Country Overall Males Females
Denmark 326.1 335 325
Ireland 317.0 356 285
Australia 314.1 361 274
New Zealand 309.2 338 287
Belgium 306.8 351 276
France (metropolitan) 300.4 361 255
United States 300.2 335 274
Norway 299.1 338 270
Canada 296.6 326 275
Czech Republic 295.0 349 259

The US has the seventh highest cancer rate in the world, according to new data compiled in January 2011, by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Of the 50 nations with the highest overall cancer rates in the world, Denmark takes first place and South Africa comes in at number 50.

Overall, the estimates show that high-income countries have significantly higher cancer rates than 1) ___-income ones. The differences in cancer rates among the top 10 nations are relatively small. “But when we look at the top 20 or 25 countries and compare those rates to the lower-income countries, that’s where you really see the differences,” said Alice Bender, of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (AICR), which is part of WHO. “The general idea is that many of these cancers can be prevented by changes in lifestyle and diet,” she said in an interview with Medscape Medical News. “We have very good evidence that a number of our most common cancers can be prevented by being at a healthy weight and being physically 2) ___.”

We can look at these higher rates as being due to some of our 3) ___ issues. For example, people in high-income countries are more likely to be overweight, consume more alcohol, and be inactive. In Denmark, which is at the top of the list, both alcohol and tobacco use are quite 4) ___. Some countries are also better at diagnosing and recording cancer cases; that might play into some of the more subtle differences between the countries on the list. But it is hard to say what exactly is contributing to the subtle differences in ranking.

When broken down by gender, the US comes is ranked 10th for men and 8th women. The 5 most common cancers in the US, are those of the 5) ___, prostate, breast, colorectum, and bladder.

The statistics come from GLOBOCAN, a project from the AICR. Although high-income countries continue to have significantly higher rates of cancer, this disparity is beginning to change. According to 2008 data from GLOBOCAN, more than half of new cancer cases (56%) and deaths (63%) occur in less-developed regions of the world. It takes a few years for these changes to show up, but the pattern is also being seen with other chronic diseases. The increased rates of heart disease and 6) ___ in lower-income countries has some of the same risk factors as other chronic diseases.”

Awareness is an important aspect, and physicians need to realize that, Ms. Bender pointed out. “They do discuss preventing heart disease and diabetes, but they may not spend as much time discussing cancer 7) ___ and what you can do to lower your risk.” Fortunately, many of the recommendations for lowering the risk for other chronic conditions are applicable to reducing the risk for 8) ___. Certainly, there are some cancers that are difficult to prevent, but for many cancers, there are many steps that they can take that will affect their 9) ___.

In the more developed regions, which GLOBOCAN designates as all of Europe plus Northern America, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, prostate and lung cancer are the most common malignancies found in men. Among women, cancers of the breast and colorectum are the most common. In less developed regions, which include all of Africa, Asia (excluding Japan), Latin America, the Caribbean, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, lung and stomach cancer are the most common cancers in men. For women, breast and cervix/uterine cancers are the most common. Source: Medscape.com

ANSWERS: 1) lower; 2) active; 3) lifestyle; 4) high; 5) lung; 6) diabetes; 7) prevention; 8) cancer; 9) risk


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