Can­cer death rates fall­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SUE DUNLEVY

HALF of Aus­tralians who sur­vive to 85 will have de­vel­oped can­cer by then, but the death rate for the na­tion’s sec­ond­biggest killer is plum­met­ing.

New Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Health and Wel­fare data show while the num­ber of Aus­tralians with can­cer is ris­ing, the death rate is fall­ing.

Some doc­tors hope it may even­tu­ally be­come just another chronic dis­ease rather than a death sen­tence.

As the pop­u­la­tion ages, can­cer cases are ex­pected to rise.

It is es­ti­mated that 126,800 cases will be di­ag­nosed this year – 69,790 males and 57,010 fe­males – up from 118,711 in 2011.

As a re­sult of the ex­tra cases, deaths from can­cer will in­crease to 46,570 this year and 56,260 in 2025, com­pared with 43,039 in 2012.

How­ever, the death rate per 100,000 pop­u­la­tion will de­cline. The death rate from can­cer fell from 199 deaths per 100,000 per­sons in 1968 to 167 deaths per 100,000 in 2012.

It is pre­dicted the can­cer death rate among males will drop from 214 per 100,000 in 2013 to 183 in 2025, and among women from 135 to 120.

In­creased screen­ing for breast, prostate, bowel and cer­vi­cal can­cer and break­throughs like the cer­vi­cal can­cer vac­cine have had an im­pact on deaths.

In­creased screen­ing for … can­cer and break­throughs like the cer­vi­cal can­cer vac­cine have had an

im­pact on deaths

Ex­pen­sive new medicines are also help­ing to pro­long the lives of pa­tients who are bat­tling can­cer.

The in­sti­tute es­ti­mates the life­time risk of an in­di­vid­ual be­ing di­ag­nosed with can­cer by their 85th birth­day is one in two for males and one in three for fe­males.

It says the risk of an in­di­vid­ual dy­ing from can­cer by their 85th birth­day is one in five fe­males and one in four males.

In the pe­riod 2007- 11, the five- year sur­vival chance of Aus­tralians with can­cer was 67 per cent of that of other Aus­tralians. That was an im­prove­ment from 46 per cent in the pe­riod 1982- 86.

Melanoma and prostate, bowel, breast and lung can­cers re­main the most com­mon can­cers di­ag­nosed in Aus­tralia.

The in­sti­tute says it has pre­pared its re­port so health ser­vices can plan for an in­crease to their can­cer ser­vices.

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