Cancer survival increase: 1 in 25 Victorians have had cancer

Friday 22 August, 2014

A record number of Victorians are living longer after a cancer diagnosis, according to new Cancer Council Victoria data released for Daffodil Day today.

The survival rate in Victoria for all cancers is now higher than ever at 66 per cent, with 230,000 Victorians or one in 25 having a personal history of cancer.

While the number of diagnoses continues to increase because of a growing and ageing population, survival is also improving thanks to early detection and improved treatment.

An analysis of the 31-year-period over which cancer incidence has been collected in Victoria shows that while only 22 per cent of cancer diagnoses in the state occur in those aged 70 and over, nearly half (45%) of survivors are aged over 70 demonstrating long-term survival.

With more people living longer after a cancer diagnosis, there is increasing need for more health and support services for survivors, with large numbers reporting ‘unmet needs' following an all-clear diagnosis.

Up to 70 per cent of cancer survivors have reported fear of their cancer returning1, with close to a third of all cancer survivors experiencing some kind of psychological issue (such as anxiety or depression) in the six months following their cancer2.

About Cancer Council Victoria & Daffodil Day

Cancer Council Victoria is committed to supporting cancer survivors across the state, and is the only organisation that works across every area of cancer, from prevention, research, support and advocacy.

This year, Cancer Council's flagship fundraising event Daffodil Day will take place across Australia on Friday 22nd August.

People are encouraged to show they care by purchasing a Daffodil Day pin, or other merchandise from one of the 300 Daffodil Day sites across Victoria. They can also make a donation via www.daffodilday.com.au or by calling 1300 65 65 85.

This year, Cancer Council hopes to raise $1.65 million in Victoria and $9.7 million nationally from Daffodil Day.

More than 10,000 volunteers are expected to staff over 1,200 Daffodil Day sites across Australia. This includes over 2000 volunteers who will staff more than 300 Daffodil Day sites across Victoria.

More information can be found by visiting www.daffodilday.com.au, or calling 1300 65 65 85.

Find Daffodil Day on Facebook: www.facebook.com/daffodildayaustralia.

Journal articles references:

1. Thewes B, Butow P, Bell ML, Beith J, Stuart-Harris R, Grossi M, Capp A, Dalley D. Fear of cancer recurrence in young women with a history of early-stage breast cancer: a cross-sectional study of prevalence and association with health behaviours. Support Care Canc 2012, 20(11):2651-2659.

2. Allison W. Boyes, Afaf Girgis, Catherine D'Este, Alison C. Zucca. Flourishing or floundering? Prevalence and correlates of anxiety and depression among a population-based sample of adult cancer survivors 6 months after diagnosis' Journal of Affective Disorders 135 (2011) pp184-192

Updated: 22 Aug, 2014