Most Surprising Facts About Cancer

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6. Cancer will kill over 600,000 Americans this year alone

The ACS estimates that about 1.7 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2018. The ACS also estimates that 609,640 Americans will die from cancer this year. This amounts to about 1,670 deaths every day.

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7. Cancer is much more common in the U.S. and Canada than Mexico

According to the ACS’s Cancer Atlas, there is a 31.1% cumulative risk — the total risk that a certain event will happen in a specific time period — of developing cancer by age 75 in the United States. In Canada, the risk is similar at 29.1%. In Mexico, however, it is just 13.4% — less than half the risk in the United States and Canada.

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8. Australia has the highest cancer rate in the world

The World Health Organization estimates that 447,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018. Most of the new cancer cases will occur in Western countries, the country with the highest cancer rate is Australia. In Australia, an estimated 468 people out of every 100,000 people will get cancer. New Zealand has the second highest cancer rate at roughly 438 new cases annually per 100,000 people.

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9. Between one-third and one-half of all cancer cases are preventable

Scientists believe cancer is not caused by just one single cause but by the interaction of many factors. Still, there are several factors known to significantly increase the risk of cancer. According to the ACS Cancer Atlas, between one-third and one-half of all cancer cases worldwide are preventable. Lifestyle factors such as smoking regularly, eating a high-fat diet, and working with toxic chemicals are top risk factors. Other factors include obesity, vaccine-preventable infections, and pollution.

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10. 20% of cancers are linked to infectious disease

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have discovered that about 1 in 5 cancers globally are attributable to infectious diseases. This is especially the case in Africa, Asia, and South America. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest proportion of cancers attributable to infectious diseases, such as malaria and HIV, at 31% of cancers. In North America and Australia, the portion of cancers attributable to infections is less than 5%.