Take a close look at colorectal cancer statistics, and you will notice that they are lower in some nations than others. Avoiding cancer is every person’s top priority. So what can we learn from these nations?

Research Shows That Colorectal Cancer Statistics Are Low In Some Countries

Cancer is a life-changing disease that stupefies anyone. The difference in the rates of metastasis between countries is startling.

Research in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology shows that the people of Nigeria have a lower incidence of colon cancer than in Western nations (Europe and America). There were only four cases of West Africans having polyps in the colon in the past 15 years. Colorectal cancer rates stand at 3.4/100 000 in Nigeria and 12/100 000 in the United Kingdom.

The statistics compiled by the World Cancer Research Fund International speak for themselves. 11.7/100 000 people in less developed nations contracted colorectal cancer, whereas 29.2/100 000 people in developed countries suffered from the disease.

Why Colorectal Cancer Statistics Are Low In These Countries

So why are the differences so striking? The same study in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology explains further.

1. Healthier Diets

First of all, diet may play a part in keeping colorectal cancer statistics low. Researcher Dennis Burkitt found that African-Americans, who migrated to America from African nations, had colorectal cancer rates comparable to those of Caucasians. He attributed the differences to their diets.

People from the rural parts of Africa tended to consume more fruits and vegetables than people in Westernized nations. They also take in a high amount of maize and cassava. Furthermore, people in the West tend to consume a lot of meat. Deep-fried meat is high in fat and carcinogens.

2. Food with spices and phytonutrients

The study also found that colorectal cancer statistics were low in India. Why? There is a link between low rates of the disease and spice. Indian food is notably spicy, with turmeric, red peppers, garlic, and onions. Turmeric protects the colon by targeting multiple signaling pathways. That stops carcinogenesis and cell metastasis.

Nigerian stews are high in palm and vegetable oil. These oils contain phytonutrients, a vital cancer-fighting agent. Garlic and onions suppress metastasis (cell division) in the colon.

3. Body Weight

Of course, bodyweight increases because of a high-calorie intake. Though this is a sign of economic progress, it leads to obesity. People in developed countries have more food choices than those in nations that are still developing. Therefore, the tendency to overindulge is lower in Nigeria and West Africa than in countries like the United States.

4. Lactose Intolerance

Another reason for the difference in colon cancer statistics is lactose intolerance. Interestingly, West Africans are less able to absorb lactose than Americans. Scientists suggest that it’s this lack of ability that may explain their low colorectal cancer rates.

Lactose intolerance protects against colorectal cancer by increasing the fermentable compounds that enter the colon. Also, Africans produce more short-chain fatty acids, which play a part in decreasing colorectal cancer.

5. Sunlight

Moreover, West Africa has sunlight all year. Experts recognize Calcium and Vitamin D as protective agents against colorectal cancer. The researchers of this study noted that people who lived in countries that receive high amounts of sunlight had low colorectal cancer rates. The less urban geography of the area explains the lower incidence of cancer.

What we can gain from research

Although geography may affect colorectal cancer statistics, a high-fiber, low-fat diet is the key to keeping them low. Positive lifestyle habits may do the same.


  1. https://www.hindawi.com/
  2. http://www.wcrf.org/
  3. https://www.cancer.gov/

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. John

    Did these studies adjust for age? Because all these countries listed, the people there live 20 to 40 years less than an average person in a fully developed nation, and age is the largest and most correlated factor in any cancer contraction.

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