cancer rates, unconventional approaches to treating cancer, chance of cancer

Cancer rates around the world vary greatly. Epidemiologists reviewed data from 195 countries in 2016 and found quite a large range (JAMA Oncology, June 2, 2018).

Cancer Rates Are Highest in Australia:

In 2016, 17.2 million people in the world were diagnosed with cancer and nearly 9 million people died of the disease. Australia had the highest number of new cancer cases, 744 per 100,000 people. That was followed by New Zealand and the US, with about 540 cases per 100,000.

Cancer Rates Are Lower in India and Sri Lanka:

India and Sri Lanka had low cancer rates, at just over 100 per 100,000. Nonetheless, even with a low rate India has such a large population that the total number of people with cancer is high. You can see the data in these maps and graphs.

The investigators note that the global cancer burden increased over the decade between 2006 and 2016. Except for cancers triggered by infection, such as cervical cancer, wealthy countries had the highest rates.

The authors conclude,

“Strategic investments in cancer control and implementation of effective programs to ensure universal access to cancer care are required.”

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  1. alan
    Dallas, TX

    So far, so good. We avoid most processed food & mostly use free range meat, poultry, eggs. Also, mostly organic veggies & wild-caught seafood.

  2. Liz

    There’s another possibility nobody has mentioned, and that is the idea that cancer is a metabolic disease. The parts of the world that show the highest rates (whatever the argument about the likelihood of diagnosis) are those that consume the greatest amount of processed food and sugar, also known as the standard American diet.

    • Peter

      Can you provide a source to back up your contention that consumption of sugar and processed foods result in higher cancer rates?

  3. Joem

    I think there are probably more cases due to more cigarette smoking in Europe. Kids start young ! Where here in the U.S. is much less. Lung cancer , throat , etc.

  4. Antoon

    The highest cancer rates are in line with high levels of medical prescription drugs especially statin and cholesterol controlling medications.

    Cholesterol is made a villain as where in reality it is a beneficial compound, high levels are undesirable. Prescription drugs will reduce the cholesterol but levels too low can trigger cancer. Lower cholesterol by reducing the consumption of simple carbon-hydrates drastically.

    I am 85 years and had been diagnosed with hi cholesterol but have controlled it with diet changes.

    • Greg Pharmacy Student
      Toledo, OH


      India and Sri Lanka have high rates of vegetarians. Some studies have shown that diet can give you similar cholesterol lowering to taking a statin.

      I’m interested, but not aware of study that shows statins cause cancer. In fact, while trying to look for such a study I see that statins may be associated with lower rates of liver cancer, prostate cancer. One study did show in men there may be a small increase in basal cell skin cancer.

      I agree that reducing simple carbohydrates is helpful for many things: lower weight, lower inflammation, avoiding diabetes, probably healthier blood vessels.

  5. Sufferingsuccotash

    And why?

    Because of the continuous exposition to to environmental pollutants, for example estrogenic enhancers used to stretch products like petrol, which switch the lipid layer of our cells into going crazy. Or tooth fillings that create havoc and spill their ingredients into your system while you speak.

    The world needs a rigorous approach to stop ANY form of pollution and an international effort to rebuild this fragile planet. But hey, who wants to know.

  6. lp

    I wonder if there’s really a difference- wealthier countries probably have better access to medical care- it could be that the rates are the same, just that in poorer countries people aren’t getting medical care and aren’t being diagnosed…

    • Cam
      Houston, TX

      My thoughts exactly. How would they get accurate data in a country with as many people as India and so many very poor, who likely never see a doctor. There are some theories that we all have some cancer in our bodies, but the body’s own mechanisms will treat it and get rid of it. In the US cancer is really big business and so every little thing will be treated$$$$.

  7. Robert

    It’s highly misleading to compare cancer incidence between countries with very different medical systems. In advanced countries like the United States, New Zealand and Australia (and many others), a much larger percentage of people receive cancer diagnoses who wouldn’t even seek out medical care in India because they couldn’t afford to do so.

    In no way can India be considered “healthier” or less cancer-prone than advanced countries. The same is true for all the many countries with significantly “poorer” populations than those in first-world countries. We are only able to compare countries when the availability and cost of medical care is reasonably equal.

    • Kim

      I’m thinking along the same lines; but in a slightly different direction. With less access to health care, people might be dying of other diseases before they have a chance to develop cancer.

  8. Mary Jane

    With Australia at the high end, and India at the low end of the spectrum, I’m wondering whether the issue is one of frequency diagnosis rather than frequent occurrence of cancers.

  9. Bill
    Katy, TX

    Looking at the linked maps and graphs shows that the countries with the highest cancer rates are also those that are sun worshipers. They are also at relatively high latitudes, implying less filtering of the sun.

    The attached article doesn’t break down cancer type by geography, but it appears that skin related cancer should be among the easiest to avoid.

  10. Bill B

    Has anyone correlated the consumption of red meat with cancer rates in these countries?

    • Terry Graedon

      Possibly. It was not in this report, but may be in another. In addition, sedentary lifestyle and consumption of high-processed food diets might also be contributing.

  11. Stephen

    There will be no Real cure for cancer because of all the money being made by Big Pharma and the corruption in DC !!! Conventional medicine is not where its at. Preventive medicine/health is the answer.Nutritional and lifestyle factors to improve the mitochondrial health. Inflammation is what starts so many diseases.

  12. Francine

    Australia is pushing hard to keep vaccination rate high. That is why. I will bet their autisum rates are climbing as well. But vaccines don’t cause autisum right.

  13. Richard
    London UK

    Did you take into account the screening procedures in place and the likelihood of diagnosis being due to this? Maybe much more cancer in India etc and yet not detected.

  14. C

    Perhaps cancer rates are higher in “wealthier populations“ because screening is better and awareness of health issues is higher. It’s not enough to declare wealth = cancer without a broader analysis. Frankly, I’m disappointed that such a well-regarded organization as The Peoples Pharmacy wouldn’t at least point out such an obvious potential correlation…it seems somewhat misleading and irresponsible to not do so. Please be more inclusive in your commentary as you should take seriously the faith people put in your advice.

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