Data published by the Victorian Cancer Registry includes cancer incidence and mortality data for 1982-2016, along with survival estimates for 2015 and projections to 2031. In 2015, 2,680 Victorians were diagnosed with lung cancer. Long-term trends in lung cancer reflect tobacco use patterns from around 40 years ago with male lung cancer incidence decreasing since the 1980s. Rates in women appear to have reached their peak, consistent with the peak of female smoking in the mid-1970s.
Lung cancer is the fifth most common cancer diagnosed in Victoria, with survival among the lowest of all cancers. Survival rates have increased steadily over the last three decades however, with five-year survival now at 18%. With more than 80% of lung cancers attributed to smoking, quitting smoking is the best lifestyle change Victorians can make to reduce their risk of cancer.
Cancer in Victoria: Statistics and Trends 2016 also reveal:
- The five most common cancers in Victoria are prostate, breast, bowel, lung, and melanoma, collectively accounting for 57% of all new cancers and half of all cancer deaths.
- All cancer survival continues to improve across the state. The latest five-year cancer survival is 68%, an increase from 65% in 2005-2009.
- In 2016, cancer deaths in Victoria were responsible for the premature loss of nearly 63,000 years of life. This is more than four times the loss compared with other major causes of death.
- Low survival cancers include a wide range of common and less common cancers with challenges relating to prevention, early detection and treatment options. Cancers with five-year relative survival less than 30% include those of the pancreas, liver, lung, oesophagus, brain and mesothelioma, among others. These cancers account for nearly 20% of all cancer diagnoses and more than 40% of cancer deaths each year.
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John Colebatch (1909–2005) was the pioneer of paediatric chemotherapy in Australia. Thanks in part to his work, most children now survive cancer. Read this fascinating account of his life by Tim Colebatch, John’s youngest son and former editor and columnist with The Age.
Associate Professor Shankar Siva, radiation oncologist and scientist at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, has been awarded the $1.5 million Colebatch Clinical Research Fellowship to investigate the use of a high-precision technique to “kickstart” patients’ immune response.
Endorsed by the National Cancer Expert Reference Group, the Optimal Care Pathways guide the delivery of consistent, safe, high-quality and evidence-based care for people with cancer. We’re seeking expert reviewers as the updating process gets underway.