Cancer in Australia

    • An estimated 124,910 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, with that number set to rise to 150,000 by 20204.
    • 1 in 2 Australian men and 1 in 3 Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 851.
    • Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia – more than 43,700 people are estimated to have died from cancer in 2011. Cancer accounted for about 3 in 10 deaths in Australia3.
    • Nearly 15,000 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 16%1.
    • More than 60% of people diagnosed with cancer in Australia will survive more than five years after diagnosis5.
    • The survival rate for many common cancers has increased by 30 per cent in the past two decades5.
    • 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 Australia2.
    • Over 434,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers each year, with 543 people dying in 20116.
    • Cancer costs more than $3.8 billion in direct health system costs (7.2%).
    • $378 million was spent on cancer research in 2000-01, 22% of all health research expenditure in Australia.


Other statistics

Global and national statistics

WHO Global non-communicable diseases data and statistics
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare cancer statistics (please wait while page takes time to load)
Australian Bureau of Statistics (search for “cancer”)

New South Wales

Cancer Institute NSW statistics


CanStat data and statistics – Cancer Council Victoria
Victorian Cancer Registry statistics
Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry statistics


1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2012. ACIM (Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality) Books. AIHW: Canberra
2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Australasian Association of Cancer Registries 2012. Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2012. Cancer series no. 74. Cat. no. CAN 70. Canberra: AIHW.
3. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of death 2011. 3303.0. Commonwealth of Australia: Canberra, Australia 2012
4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. Cancer incidence projections: Australia, 2011 to 2020. Cancer Series no. 66. Cat. No. CAN 62. Canberra: AIHW.
5. AIHW, CA (Cancer Australia) & AACR (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. Canberra: AIHW.
6. 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.