The cancer rate in Vietnam in 2020 was 159.7 per 100,000, placing it 16th in Asia, according to the biannual ranking released by International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR), a non-profit scientific organization that aims to further research in cryptology and related fields.
In 2018, Vietnam’s cancer rate was ranked 99th out of 185 countries and territories with a rate of 151.4 per 100,000.
Vietnam reported 182,563 new cases of cancer in 2020, with liver cancer being the most common (14.5 percent), followed by lung cancer (14.4 percent), breast cancer in women (11.8 percent), stomach cancer (9.8 percent) and colorectal cancer (9 percent), the report said.
The nation recorded 122,690 cancer deaths last year, with liver cancer being the leading cause, accounting for 20.6 percent of the total.
The age-standardized rate of cancer mortality in Vietnam was 106 per 100,000 and the risk of dying from cancer before the age of 75 was 11.2 percent, the report said.
Among Vietnamese men, the five most common cancers were liver, lung, stomach, colorectal and prostate. For women, these were breast, lung, colorectal, stomach and liver cancers.
Worldwide, nearly 19.3 million new cases of cancer were reported in 2020, up 2.3 million over 2018. The number of deaths increased from 9.6 million in 2018 to 9.96 million in 2020, according to the IARC.
Australia has the world’s highest cancer rate, followed by New Zealand and Ireland. In Asia, Japan has the region’s highest rate of cancer with 285 per 100,000, followed by South Korea and Singapore.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than a third of cancer deaths can be prevented by avoiding the five leading behavioral and dietary risks – high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption.
Heavy smoking and alcohol abuse contribute to the increasing liver cancer mortality rate among Vietnamese men, health experts have said.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has put beer and other alcohol among the top factors in liver cancer deaths.
Vietnam has one of the world’s heaviest drinking populations. More than 4.6 billion liters of beer were consumed in 2019, a year-on-year increase of more than 10 percent. The country spends an average $3.4 billion on alcohol each year, or $300 per capita, while spending on related health problems averages $113, according to the Ministry of Health.
Vietnam also has one of the highest numbers of smokers in the world, with as many as 15.6 million smokers spending VND31 trillion ($1.36 billion) on cigarettes every year. The country is among the top 15 in the world with the lowest tobacco prices, according to the WHO.