- 1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
- An estimated 115,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia in 2010.
- Cancer is the second leading cause of Australian deaths and affects almost 20% of the population. More than 43,000 people are expected to die from cancer in 2010.
- The most common cancers in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) are prostate, colorectal, breast, melanoma, and lung cancer.
- Cancer costs $3.8 billion in direct health system costs.
- In Australia, the number of skin cancer cases outnumbers the total number of all other types of cancers combined. At least 2 in 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. Each year, around 434,000 Australians are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers (the most frequently occurring cancer in Australia, but the least life-threatening).
- Each year, over 28,000 Victorians develop cancer and over 10,000 deaths are caused by cancer. In 2009, 16,237 men and 12,077 women presented with new cancers and 5,850 men and 4,547 women died from cancer.
- Age-standardised mortality rates for cancer were 117.8 per 100,000 males and 79.1 per 100,000 females. Cancer death rates for men and women continue to decrease at over 1% per year. The years of potential life lost (YPLL) to age 75 were 30,840 for males and 28,797 for females.
Prostate cancer was again the leading site of new cancer in 2009 (5,609 cases, 20% of all cancers and 35% of cancers in men). Incidence rates rose steeply between 1987 and 1995 largely due to detection of early cancers by Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing. After falling sharply from 1995 to 1997, rates are now increasing again. Prostate cancer was the third ranking cause of cancer death (816 deaths, 8%) in 2009.
In 2009, bowel (colon and rectum) cancer was the second most common new cancer in Victorians with 3,619 cases (13% of all cancers). It was the second ranking site of fatal cancer (1,365 deaths, 13%).
Breast cancer was the third most common new cancer, accounting for 12% (3,294) of new cases and 27% of all cancers in women. It was the fourth ranking cause of cancer death (700 deaths, 7%). Incidence rates have stabilised recently after a decade of increase, largely due to mammographic detection, whilst mortality rates have shown a downward trend since 1994.
Melanoma is the fourth most common new cancer in Victorians (2,396 cases, 8% of total) and was the ninth cause of cancer death (317 deaths, 3% of total). Mortality rates show small decreases whilst incidence rates continue to rise.
Lung cancer is the fifth most common new cancer (2,374 new cases) in 2009 and remains the leading cause of cancer death (1,936 deaths, 19% of all cancer deaths). Incidence and mortality rates continue to decline in males and increase slightly in females.
The difference in rank orders of incidence and mortality reflects the differing survivorship of patients with different tumours. Lung cancer is both common and quickly fatal and, therefore, ranks high in both new cancers and cancer deaths. Pancreatic cancer is not so common but is usually rapidly lethal so its mortality ranking is higher than its incidence ranking.
AGE AND SEX
Cancer was very age - dependent with less than 1% of tumours occurring before age 15 and 57% in persons over 65 years. More men than women developed cancer: 134 for every 100 females. The male excess was largely due to tobacco-related cancers and large number of prostate cancers.
- The standardised incidence rates (per 100,000) were 382.7 for males and 265.8 for females. The cumulative rates per cent to age 75 were 45.7% for males and 29.8% for females. These represented risks of over 1 in 3 for men and 1 in 4 for women. At least 1 in 3 Victorians will develop a cancer other than non-melanocytic skin cancer by the age of 75.