A new report from the AIHW, Health System Costs of Cancer in
Australia 1993-94, provides the first systematic analysis of the
total health system costs of different types of cancer in
Australia. Cancer costs the Australian community almost $2 billion
per year in direct health system costs, of which more than 80% are
In 1993-94 cancer accounted for 6% of total recurrent health
expenditure compared with 12% for cardiovascular diseases, 12% for
digestive system diseases and 9.5% for musculoskeletal problems.
Cancer was responsible for 27% of all deaths in Australia in
AIHW's Principal Research Fellow, Dr Colin Mathers, said that
the most expensive cancer is non-melanoma skin cancer-its estimated
cost in 1993-94 was $232 million. 'This includes health
interventions for benign skin tumours and in-situ skin cancers, as
well as for invasive cancers. While non-melanoma skin cancer causes
only a small number of deaths-379 in 1993-there were over 243,000
new cases that year.'
Colorectal cancer is the second highest contributor to direct
costs (an estimated $205 million), ranks second in terms of cancer
deaths (4,440 in 1993), and ranks third in terms of new cases
(9,538 cases in 1994).
The cancers that account for the most health expenditure
Other findings of the report include:
3 October 1998
Further information: Dr Colin Mathers,
Principal Research Fellow, ph. 02 6244 1138 or 04 0792 8523
(mobile).For media copies of the report: Michelle Wells,
ph. 02 6244 1012.Availability: Check the AIHW for details.
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