Australia revealed as the country with highest rate of cancer diagnosis

Melissa Buttigieg
·News Reporter

Australians are being diagnosed with cancer at a higher rate than any other country in the world, new research has shown.

The 2016 international study of 195 countries showed there were 743.8 new cancer cases for every 100,000 Australians, followed by 542.8 in New Zealand, and 532.9 in the USA.

The research revealed a trend of more new cases in wealthier nations, prompting scientists to warn cancers caused by lifestyles are on the rise.

Lung cancer and colorectal cancer remain leading causes of cancer deaths globally. Source: Getty
Lung cancer and colorectal cancer remain leading causes of cancer deaths globally. Source: Getty

HIGHEST NEW CANCER CASES PER 100,000 PEOPLE (AGE-ADJUSTED) IN 2016

  1. Australia (743.8)

  2. New Zealand (542.8)

  3. United States (532.9)

  4. Netherlands (477.3)

  5. Luxembourg (455.4)

  6. Iceland (455.0)

  7. Norway (446.1)

  8. United Kingdom (438.6)

  9. Ireland (429.7)

  10. Denmark (421.7)

The most common type of cancer detected across Australia was non melanoma skin cancer, followed by prostate, colon and rectum, malignant skin melanoma, then breast rounding out the top five.

A GP examines a woman with a suspected melanoma. Source: Getty Images
A GP examines a woman with a suspected melanoma. Source: Getty Images

While Australia ranked highest for new cases, it did not feature in the list of countries with highest mortality rates, the study compiled by scientists at the University of Washington and published in JAMA Oncology, showed.

The nations ranking the highest for cancer mortality were Mongolia, Zimbabwe, and Dominica.

HIGHEST CANCER DEATHS PER 100,000 PEOPLE (AGE-ADJUSTED) IN 2016

  1. Mongolia (272.1)

  2. Zimbabwe (245.8)

  3. Dominica (203.1)

  4. Hungary (202.7)

  5. Grenada (201.0)

  6. Uruguay (190.6)

  7. Tonga (189.7)

  8. North Korea (188.7)

  9. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (183.1)

  10. Croatia (180.2)

In women, breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer death.. Source: Reuters
In women, breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer death.. Source: Reuters

Lung cancer and colorectal cancer remain leading causes of cancer deaths globally – accounting for nearly 20 percent of all cancer deaths in 2016, the study showed.

In women, breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer death. For men, lung cancer was the highest cause of cancer mortality globally, with prostate cancer one of the most common causes of cancer incidence and death in men.

“While the increase in lung, colorectal, and skin cancers over the past decade is concerning, the prevention potential is substantial,” said Dr Christina Fitzmaurice, Assistant Professor of Global Health, at the University of Washington, whose organisation coordinated the study.

“Vital prevention efforts such as tobacco control, dietary interventions, and broader health promotion campaigns need to be scaled up in response to this rise in lifestyle-related cancers,” she said.

While cancer death rates decreased in a majority of countries over 10 years to 2016, incidence rates conversely increased.