Facts and figures

Did you know more than one third of cancer deaths in Australia are caused by preventable risk factors such as smoking or not taking part in screening programs? Cancer kills twice as many people as any other single preventable cause of death. The good news is, you can do something about it.

Cancer in Australia

  • An estimated 126,800 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.  

For more facts and figures about cancer, visit Cancer Council Australia's website.

Want to know more? Uncover the truth about the causes of cancer in our list of cancer myths and misconceptions or visit the iHeard website.

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