Rates of Cancer Worlwide:North America Leads

Rate of Cancer Highest in North America: Study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health)

North America leads the world in the rate of cancers diagnosed in adults, followed closely by Western Europe and Australia and New Zealand, according to a recent estimate of worldwide cancer rates.

The study found that 1.5% of the North American population aged 15 years and older--more than 3 million people--had been diagnosed with at least one of 25 different cancers within the past 5 years. The results only include individuals diagnosed in the past 5 years because people who live longer are considered to be cured, researchers explain in the January issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

About 1.2% of the population of Western Europe, or nearly 4 million people, had been diagnosed with cancer between 1986 and 1990, while just over 1% of the population of Australia and New Zealand--about 200,000 people--had been diagnosed over the same period.

Japan was next in line with 1% of the population diagnosed with cancer within the past 5 years, followed by Eastern Europe with 0.7% of adults living with cancer, and Latin America and the Caribbean countries with 0.4% of the population diagnosed with cancer, according to the report.

The researchers suggest that higher cancer rates in nations with higher income reflect longer life expectancies in older adults, who are more susceptible to cancer.

01/03/2002; Reuters Health

International Trends in Cancer

Abstract #B143 Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, 2003

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