According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. Nearly one in six deaths worldwide are cancer-related, and there were an estimated 14 million new cancer cases around the world in 2012.
However, cancer patients' lives have radically changed due to medical technology improvements, better access to healthcare and more extensive preventative care. In some cases, certain cancer diagnoses are no longer a death sentence. The number of deaths caused by breast cancer, for example, has steadily decreased since 1989 in the U.S. Prostate cancer can also be detected very early with today's technology, leading to fewer deaths. Around the world, many countries are experiencing a decline in the number of cancer deaths, but where have cancer rates declined the most?
To compile the list of the top 100 countries where cancer deaths are decreasing, HealthGrove, a health data site by Graphiq, used data from the Global Health Data Exchange. The experts at HealthGrove looked at the age-adjusted percent change in cancer death rate (for both sexes combined) from 1990 to 2015 (and 2010 to 2015) to figure out which countries have fewer people dying of cancer than they did 25 years ago. Countries are ranked from least to greatest change in overall death rate.
In every corner of the world, cancer death rates are declining. Here's a look at 50 countries that are experiencing a positive change in cancer-related deaths.
*Note: The age-adjustment is a statistical technique used to compare populations with different age structures, in which the characteristics of the populations are statistically transformed to match those of a reference population. This is useful because relative over- or under-representation of different age groups can obscure comparisons of age-dependent diseases (e.g., ischemic heart disease or malaria) across populations.