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.

All cancers combined incorporates ICD-10 cancer codes C00–C97 (Malignant neoplasms of specific sites), D45 (Polycythaemia), D46 (Myelodysplastic syndromes), and D47.1, D47.3, D47.4 and D47.5 (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.


Estimated number of new cancer cases diagnosed in 2019

144,713 = male icon 78,081 males + female icon 66,632 females


Estimated number of deaths from cancer in 2019

49,896 = male icon 28,070 males + female icon 21,826 females


Chance of surviving at least 5 years (2011–2015)

69%

 


People living with cancer at the end of 2014 (diagnosed in the 5 year period 2010 to 2014)

431,704

 


New cases

In 2015, there were 131,452 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Australia (71,959 males and 59,493 females). In 2019, it is estimated that 144,713 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (78,081 males and 66,632 females). In 2019, it is estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 2 for both males and females. The estimated 10 most common cancers diagnosed in 2019 are shown in Figure 1. 

Figure 1. Estimated most common cancers diagnosed, 2019 

Notes 

In 2015, the age-standardised incidence rate was 487 cases per 100,000 persons (558 for males and 427 for females). In 2019, it is estimated that the age-standardised incidence rate will be 483 cases per 100,000 persons (541 for males and 434 for females). The incidence rate for all cancers combined is expected to generally increase with age. 

Figure 2. Age-standardised incidence rates for all cancers combined, 1982 to 2015, by sex 

Notes 

  • Data sourced from AIHW 2018 Cancer Data in Australia, ACIM books, and Cancer in Australia 2019 report and supplementary data tables 
  • More information about incidence rates for all cancers combined over time, by age, sex, Indigenous status, remoteness, and socioeconomic status (SES) can be found on the NCCI website in the ‘Cancer incidence’ section (https://ncci.canceraustralia.gov.au/diagnosis/cancer-incidence/cancer-incidence

The number of new cases of cancer diagnosed increased from 47,462 (25,425 males and 22,037 females) in 1982 to 131,452 in 2015. Over the same period, the age–standardised incidence rate increased from 384 new cases per 100,000 persons (473 for males and 328 for females) in 1982 to 487 cases per 100,000 persons in 2015. 

Deaths 

In 2016, there were 45,782 deaths from cancer in Australia (25,910 males and 19,872 females). In 2019, it is estimated that there will be 49,896 deaths (28,070 males and 21,826 females). In 2019, it is estimated that the risk of an individual dying from cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 5 (1 in 4 males and 1 in 6 females). The estimated 10 most common causes of cancer death in 2019 are shown in Figure 3. 

Figure 3. Estimated most common causes of cancer death, 2019 

Notes 

In 2016, the age-standardised mortality rate was 160 deaths per 100,000 persons (199 for males and 129 for females). In 2019, it is estimated that the age-standardised mortality rate will be 159 deaths per 100,000 persons (195 for males and 130 for females). The mortality rate for cancer is expected to generally increase with age. 

Figure 4. Age-standardised mortality rates for all cancers combined, 1968 to 2016, by sex 

Notes 

  • Data sourced from AIHW 2018 Cancer Data in Australia, ACIM books, and Cancer in Australia 2019 report and supplementary data tables 
  • More information about mortality rates for all cancers combined over time, by age, sex, Indigenous status, remoteness, and socioeconomic status (SES) can be found on the NCCI website in the ‘Cancer mortality’ section (https://ncci.canceraustralia.gov.au/outcomes/cancer-mortality/cancer-mortality

The number of deaths from cancer increased from 17,032 (9,541 males and 7,491 females) in 1968 to 45,782 in 2016. Over the same period, the age-standardised mortality rate decreased from 199 deaths per 100,000 persons (258 for males and 159 for females) in 1968 to 160 deaths per 100,000 in 2016.  

Survival 

In 2011–2015, individuals diagnosed with cancer had a 69% chance (68% for males and 70% for females) of surviving for five years compared to their counterparts in the general Australian population. Between 1986–1990 and 2011–2015, five-year relative survival from cancer improved from 50% to 69%.

Figure 5. 5-year relative survival from all cancers combined, 1986–1990 to 2011–2015, by sex 

Notes 

  • Data sourced from AIHW 2018 Cancer Data in Australia, ACIM books, and Cancer in Australia 2019 report and supplementary data tables 
  • More information about 5-year relative survival rates for all cancers combined over time, by age, sex, Indigenous status, remoteness, and socioeconomic status (SES) can be found on the NCCI website in the ‘Relative survival rate’ section (https://ncci.canceraustralia.gov.au/outcomes/relative-survival-rate/5-year-relative-survival

Prevalence 

At the end of 2014, there were 109,906 people living who had been diagnosed with cancer that year, 431,704 people living who had been diagnosed with cancer in the previous 5 years (from 2010 to 2014) and 1,082,511 people living who had been diagnosed with cancer in the previous 33 years (from 1982 to 2014). 

For more information on cancer data, see the NCCI website

The National Cancer Control Indicators (NCCI) are a set of indicators across the continuum of cancer care, from Prevention and Screening through to Diagnosis, Treatment, Psychosocial care, Research and Outcomes.  The NCCI website allows users to see visual representations of data on each indicator through interactive charts.

References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2017. All cancers combined. Canberra: AIHW. [Accessed February 2017].
  2. AIHW 2017. Cancer in Australia 2017. Cancer series no. 101. Cat. No. CAN 100. Canberra: AIHW.