Cancer death rates falling
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.