Australia, according to the World Health Organisation, tops in the world in cancer cases.
And it’s men with prostate cancer who have pushed Australia into first place.
Generally the cancer incidence rate is 25 per cent higher in men than women.
But here’s the good news.
We’re living longer and surviving cancer more often.
And in Australia and New Zealand, there are good programs and testing to identify cancers early.
The Cancer Council Australia says more people are living to an age where cancer becomes more common.
“The good news for Australia is that our death rate from cancer is decreasing,” says Cancer Council CEO Ian Olver. “This is largely due to better treatments and population screening programs for breast, cervical and bowel cancer.”
Chris Del Mar, Professor of Public Health at Bond University, explains:
“One of the reasons that Australian men have such a high incidence of cancer is that people are living longer as we all become more affluent (our lifespan increase an extra 3 months every year on average). This means that we have a greater incidence of ‘diseases of affluence’ including cancer.
“But it’s also worth noting that some of the apparent increase is not real. It appears to be the case because people are not dying from some other groups of diseases (heart disease and infections, which are easier to prevent and treat), which means that, because we all have to die of something, more people end up dying of cancer.”
The cancer incidence rate for men in Australia/New Zealand is 365 per 100,000, with high rates of prostate cancer representing a significant driver.
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