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Facts and figures
Cancer in Australia
- An estimated 128,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, with that number set to rise to 150,000 by 2020.
- 1 in 2 Australian men and 1 in 3 Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85.
- Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia – more than 43,000 people died from cancer in 2012. Cancer accounted for about 3 in 10 deaths in Australia.
- Around 19,000 more people die each year from cancer than 30 years ago, this is due mainly to population growth and aging. However, the death rate (number of deaths per 100,000 people) has fallen by more than 16%.
- 66% of people diagnosed with cancer in Australia are still alive five years after a cancer diagnosis.
- The most common cancers in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) are prostate, colorectal (bowel), breast, melanoma and lung cancer. These five cancers account for over 60% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia
- In 2008, it was estimated that every year over 434,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers. 521 people died of a non-melanoma skin cancer in 2011.
- Cancer costs more than $4.5 billion in direct health system costs (6.9%).
- $378 million was spent on cancer research in 2000-01, 22% of all health research expenditure in Australia.
More facts and figures
Also see cancer types and skin cancer facts and figures. The most recently published national cancer incidence and mortality figures are in the Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) books. The books can be viewed on the AIHW website. The AIHW website contains a range of useful publications.
Media enquiries about cancer facts or statistics should be directed to the Communications team.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. Cancer incidence projections: Australia, 2011 to 2020. Cancer Series no. 66. Cat. No. CAN 62. Canberra: AIHW.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2015. ACIM (Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality) Books. Canberra: AIHW.
- 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
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Cancer Australia and Australasian Association of Cancer Registries 2008. Cancer survival and prevalence in Australia: cancers diagnosed from 1982 to 2004. Cancer series no. 42. Cat. No. CAN 38.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. ACIM (Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality) Books. Canberra: AIHW.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. Cancer in Australia: an overview. Cancer series no. 90. Cat. no. CAN 88. Canberra: AIHW.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Cancer Australia 2008. Non-melanoma skin cancer: general practice consultations, hospitalisation and mortality. Cancer series no. 43. Cat. no. 39.Canberra: AIHW.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2013. Health system expenditure on cancer and other neoplasms in Australia 2008-2009. Cancer series no. 81. Cat. No. 78. Canberra: AIHW
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This page was last updated on: Friday, June 5, 2015