Cancer cases double since 1982, but survival improving

The number of new cancer cases diagnosed in Australia more than doubled between 1982 and 2014; however survival from cancer has improved over time, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Cancer in Australia 2014, shows that the number of new cancer cases rose from 47,417 to 123,920 between 1982 and 2014, with significant increases for prostate cancer, bowel cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer.

'This is due to the increasing size and age of the population, improved diagnosis through population health screening programs and improvements in technologies and techniques used for identifying and diagnosing cancer,' said AIHW spokesperson Justin Harvey.

More than half (55%) of the cancer cases diagnosed in 2014 are expected to be in men.

'Survival from cancer has improved significantly, with five-year survival from all cancers combined rising from 46% in 1982-1986 to 67% in 2007-2011. Australians diagnosed with cancer generally had better survival prospects compared with people living in other countries and regions.

However these improvements haven't been consistent across all cancers,' Mr Harvey said.

The cancers that had the largest survival gains between 1982-1987 and 2007-2011 were prostate cancer, kidney cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Many of the cancers that had low survival in 1982-1986 showed only small improvements, such as cancer of other digestive organs (from 10% to 12%), pancreatic cancer (from 3.5% to 6.1%) and lung cancer (from 9% to 14%).

It is estimated that 45,780 Australians will die from cancer in 2014, with cancer accounting for about 3 in 10 deaths in Australia.

'The overall mortality rate from cancer is expected to drop by 20% from 209 deaths per 100,000 people in 1982 to 168 deaths per 100,000 people in 2014.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians continue to experience higher mortality rates from cancer than non-Indigenous Australians.

In 2008-2012, mortality rates from cancer were highest for people living in Remote and Very remote areas.

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.



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