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Keywords:

  • Australia;
  • epidemiological monitoring;
  • neoplasm;
  • prevalence;
  • survival analysis

Abstract

Aim

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is a major national agency established by the Australian government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare. The AIHW publishes updated information on survival and prevalence of cancer in Australia on a regular basis.

Methods

The latest national survival and prevalence statistics for cancer in Australia from 1982 to 2010 are presented. The period method is used in survival calculations. Limited duration prevalence by sex and 5-year relative survival by age, sex, remoteness from major centers and socioeconomic status are examined in detail for all cancers combined as well as for selected cancers. National conditional survival statistics are also presented.

Results

Five-year survival from all cancers combined increased from 47% in the period 1982–1987 to 66% in 2006–2010. Over the same period, prostate cancer, kidney cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma had the largest increases in 5-year survival, while many of the cancers that already had a low survival in 1982–1987 (such as mesothelioma and pancreatic cancer) showed only small increases. For those who have already survived 5 years past their cancer diagnosis, their survival prospects for the next 5 years were more than 90% for all cancers combined. At the end of 2007 there were 774 700 Australians, or 3.6% of the population, living with a diagnosis of cancer in the previous 26 years. The prevalence was particularly high for breast cancer, melanoma of the skin, prostate cancer and bowel cancer.