All cancers in Australia

The following material has been sourced from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Cancer is a diverse group of several hundred diseases in which some of the body’s cells become abnormal and begin to multiply out of control. The abnormal cells can invade and damage the tissue around them, and spread to other parts of the body, causing further damage and eventually death.

Despite a decline in cancer deaths and an increase in survival over time, cancer is still the second-most common cause of death in Australia—after cardiovascular diseases.

All cancers combined incorporates ICD-10 cancer codes C00-C97 (Malignant neoplasms of specific sites), D45 (Polycythaemia), D46 (Myelodysplastic syndromes), D47.1 and D47.3 (Myeloproliferative diseases); but excludes basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin. BCC and SCC, the most common skin cancers, are not notifiable diseases in Australia and are not reported in the Australian Cancer Database.

Projected* number of new cancer cases diagnosed in 20151

126,800 = Male icon PNG 69,790 males + Female icon PNG 57,010 females

Projected number of deaths from cancer in 20151

46,570 = Male icon PNG 26,470 males + Female icon PNG 20,100 females

The chance of surviving at least 5 years (2007–11)1

67%67 in 100 PNG

People living with cancer in 2009 (diagnosed in the 5 year period 2005 to 2009)1

370,474Lots of people PNG

How common is cancer in Australia?

In 2011, there were 118,711 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Australia (67,117 males and 51,594 females).a In 2015, it is estimated that 126,800 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (69,790 males and 57,010 females).b

In 2011, the age-standardised incidence rate was 484 cases per 100,000 persons (580 for males and 404 for females).d In 2015, it is estimated that the age-standardised incidence rate will be 466 cases per 100,000 persons (537 for males and 407 for females).

In 2015, it is estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 2 (1 in 2 males and 1 in 3 females).

In 2015, it is expected the incidence of cancer will generally increase with age (see figure below).

Age-specific incidence rates for cancer, 2015

All cancers incidence by age group PNG

Notes

Source: AIHW analysis of the Australian Cancer Database (unpublished), (see source data).

Projected most common cancers diagnosed in 2015
Cancer type New cases 20151 % of all new cancers 20151
Prostate (among males) 17,250 24.7
Bowel 17,070 13.5
Breast 15,740 12.4
Melanoma 12,960 10.2
Lung 11,880 9.4

Deaths from cancer

In 2012, there were 43,039 deaths from cancer in Australia (24,341 males and 18,698 females). In 2015, it is estimated that this will increase to 46,570 deaths (26,470 males and 20,100 females).c

In 2012, the age-standardised mortality rate was 167 deaths per 100,000 persons (211 for males and 133 for females).d In 2015, it is estimated that the age-standardised mortality rate will be 166 deaths per 100,000 persons (209 for males and 132 for females).

In 2015, it is estimated that the risk of an individual dying from cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 5 (1 in 4 for males and 1 in 6 for females).

Trends in cancer

Incidence

The number of new cases of cancer diagnosed increased from 47,417 in 1982 to 118,711 in 2011.

Over the same period, the age-standardised incidence rate increased from 383 cases per 100,000 persons in 1982 to 484 per 100,000 persons in 2011.

Mortality

The number of deaths from cancer increased from 17,032 in 1968 to 43,039 in 2012.

Over the same period, the age-standardised mortality rate decreased from 199 deaths per 100,000 persons in 1968 to 167 deaths per 100,000 in 2012.

Cancer incidence and mortality, 1968 to 2012

All cancers incidence vs mortality PNG

Note: Incidence rates available for 1982–2011, and mortality rates available for 1968–2012.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare4

Survival from cancer

In 2007–2011 in Australia, individuals with cancer had a 67% chance of surviving for 5 years compared to their counterparts in the general Australian population.

Between 1982–1986 and 2007–2011, 5-year relative survival from cancer improved from 46% to 67%.

5-year relative survival from cancer, 1982–86 to 2007–11

All cancers 5-year survival PNG

Source: AIHW analysis of the Australian Cancer Database (unpublished), (see source data).

Prevalence of cancer

The prevalence for one, five and 28 years given below are the number of people living with cancer at the end of 2009 who had been diagnosed in the preceding 1, 5 and 28 years respectively.

One year prevalence

At the end of 2009, there were 98,292 people living who had been diagnosed with cancer that year.

Five year prevalence

At the end of 2009, there were 370,474 people living who had been diagnosed with cancer in the previous 5 years (from 2005 to 2009).

28 year prevalence

At the end of 2009, there were 861,057 people living who had been diagnosed with cancer in the previous 28 years (from 1982 to 2009).


Source tables

Source table 1: Incidence of cancer by age group, 2015
Age group (years) Number of new cases
per 100,000 people
0–4 21.2
5–9 10.3
10–14 12.0
15–19 21.7
20–24 33.9
25–29 64.1
30–34 91.7
35–39 148.5
40-44 229.7
45-49 368.9
50-54 555.9
55–59 819.6
60-64 1,185.9
65–69 1,715.3
70-74 1,933.0
75–79 2,198.9
80–84 2,506.2
85+ 2,742.0
Source table 2: 5-year relative survival from cancer, 1982–86 to 2007–11
Year 5-year relative survival (%)
1982–86 46.1
1987–91 50.4
1992–96 55.5
1997–01 59.6
2002–06 62.6
2007–11 66.7

Data notes

International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Releated Health Problems Version 10 (ICD-10)

Cancer, like other health conditions, is classified by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Releated Health Problems Version 10 (ICD-10). This is a statistical classification, published by the World Health Organization, in which each morbid condition is assigned a unique code according to established criteria.

Projections

Future projections for incidence and mortality are a mathematical extrapolation of past trends. They assume that the most recent trends will continue into the future, and are intended to illustrate future changes that might reasonably be expected to occur if the stated assumptions continue to apply over the projected period. Actual future cancer incidence and mortality rates may vary from these projections for a variety of factors. New screening programs may increase the detection of new cancer cases; new vaccination programs may decrease the risk of developing cancer; and improvements in treatment options may decrease mortality rates.

Incidence

Cancer incidence indicates the number of new cancers diagnosed during a specified time period (usually one year).

  1. The 2011 national incidence counts include estimates for NSW and the ACT because the real data were not available.
  2. The 2015 estimates are based on 2002–11 incidence data.

Mortality

Cancer mortality refers to the number of deaths occurring during a specified time period (usually one year) for which the underlying cause of death is cancer.

  1. The 2015 estimates are based on 2002–12 mortality data. Due to the rounding of these estimates, male and female mortality may not sum to person mortality.

Prevalence

Prevalence of cancer refers to the number of people alive with a prior diagnosis of cancer at a given time. It is distinct from incidence, which is the number of new cancers diagnosed within a given period of time.

Age standardised rates

  1. Incidence and mortality rates expressed per 100,000 population are age-standardised to the Australian population as at 30 June 2001.

References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2014. Cancer series no. 78. Cat. no. CAN 75. Canberra: AIHW.
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. Australia's health 2014. Australia's health series no. 14. Cat. no. AUS 178. Canberra: AIHW.
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. Cancer survival and prevalence in Australia: period estimates from 1982 to 2010. Cancer Series no. 69. Cat. no. CAN 65. Canberra: AIHW.
  4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2015. Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) books: All cancers combined. Canberra: AIHW. www.aihw.gov.au/acim-books [Accessed January 2015].
  5. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. Cancer incidence projections: Australia, 2011 to 2020. Cancer Series no. 66. Cat. No. CAN 62. Canberra: AIHW.