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Cancer in Victoria 2022 Annual Report

Cancer in Victoria 2022

Each year, we produce a detailed statistical report on trends in cancer presentation, incidence, survival and mortality.

Download the report


The Victorian Cancer Registry: Our contribution to science

Welcome to Cancer in Victoria 2022, an annual report produced by the Victorian Cancer Registry. This report provides a snapshot of cancer activity in 2022 and examines trends in cancer diagnoses, deaths, survival, and prevalence since 1982.

The statistics presented in this report are sourced from a comprehensive network, including 262 hospitals, 10 radiation therapy centres, BreastScreen Victoria, each of the 26 Victorian pathology providers, and the seven interstate cancer registries.

Together, 217,946 documents were processed by the Victorian Cancer Registry medical coder team to identify the 36,299 new diagnoses in 2022, and update data from previous years. The Registry is proud to be among the first in the world to deliver the 2022 cancer statistics.

2022 in numbers

  • In 2022, 35,656 Victorians were diagnosed with cancer. That’s an average of 98 people diagnosed every day.

  • There were over 6,600 fewer cancer diagnoses than expected between 2020 – 2022.

  • Over 350,000 Victorians alive today have been diagnosed with cancer within the past four decades.

  • Across all cancers, the 5-year survival rate is 73% for females and, for the first time, survival for males has reached 70%.

  • 32 people die from cancer every day.



Download the report (PDF: 7.9MB)Published on 7th December 2023

Nurse and patient in a hospital corridor

Demography


A snapshot of Victoria's population in 2022

  • Victoria's population is growing and ageing.
  • Aboriginal Victorians represent 1% of the state's population.
  • About one in three Victorians are born overseas.
  • Cancer is the cause of death for nearly one in three Victorians.


Victoria, Australia's second most populous state, houses over 6.6 million people. This is a 1.3% increase from the previous year, primarily driven by the reinstatement of overseas travel in 2022, with the majority (77%) residing in major cities.

In 2021, Victoria had 65,646 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander individuals, making up 1.0% of the state's population, with a median age of 24 years. The Victorian Cancer Registry and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) aim to enhance culturally safe services for better cancer outcomes among Aboriginal Victorians.

In 2021, 31.7% of Victorians, totaling 2,072,570 individuals, were born overseas, showing a 1% increase from 2016. A language other than English is used in 30% of Victorian households.

Australia has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. In Victoria, life expectancy at birth is 85.5 years for females and 81.6 years for males, an increase of one year for females and 1.1 years for males over the past decade. However, life expectancy is not equally distributed between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

Visit the Demography chapter
Published on 7th December 2023

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Incidence


A snapshot of new cancer diagnoses in Victoria in 2022

  • 98 Victorians are diagnosed with cancer every day.
  • For every 100 females diagnosed with cancer, there are 120 males diagnosed.
  • Cancer diagnoses in Victoria in 2022 are lower than in 2021, but higher than reported in 2020.
  • About 6,660 fewer cancer diagnoses than expected were estimated by the end of 2022.
  • The most common cancers in Victoria are cancers of the prostate, breast, bowel, lung, and melanoma. These cancers account for 56% of all diagnoses in Victoria.
  • Aboriginal Victorians are twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer than non-Aboriginal Victorians.
  • Melanoma diagnoses in regional Victoria are 47% higher than in major cities.


Cancer incidence by sex, 1982-2022, with projected incidence to 2037, Victoria (Figure 4)

Cancer diagnoses are notably higher in men, with a ratio of 120 cases per 100 cases in females across various cancer types, except for specific cases like anal canal, breast, and thyroid cancers.



Age-standardised incidence ratio (with 95% confidence interval) for the ten most common cancers diagnosed in Aboriginal Victorians by sex, comparing Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians, 2017-2021 (Figure 10)

Between 2017-2021, Aboriginal Victorians had a yearly average of 328 cancer diagnoses, with significantly higher incidence rates compared to non-Aboriginal Victorians in specific cancers like lung, liver, and head and neck. Lung, prostate, breast, and bowel cancers collectively accounted for almost half of all diagnoses among Aboriginal Victorians.



Age-standardised incidence rate (with 95% confidence intervals) for the ten most common cancers, comparing Victorians diagnosed in major cities and Regional Victoria, 2020-2022 (Figure 12)

In 2022, 10,837 regional Victorians were diagnosed with cancer, with notably higher age-standardised rates among males than females (371 versus 295 cases per 100,000). Regional areas recorded increased rates of melanoma, leukaemia, bowel, and lung cancers compared to those in major Victorian cities. The most common cancers remained consistent between regional and urban areas: prostate, breast, bowel, lung, and melanoma.

Visit the Incidence chapter
Published on 7th December 2023



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Mortality


A snapshot of cancer mortality in Victoria in 2022

  • In Victoria, 32 people die from cancer every day, and more males die from cancer than females.
  • The cancer mortality rate has decreased 2.2% per year since 1982 in men and 1.6% per year since 1993 in women.
  • Aboriginal Victorians are more than 3 times more likely to die from cancer than non-Aboriginal Victorians.
  • The leading causes of cancer death are cancers of the lung, bowel, prostate, pancreas, and breast which together account for just over half of all deaths.


Number of cancer deaths and age-standardised mortality rates for males and females, Victoria 1982-2022, with projections based on two models (Figure 22)

Cancer stands as the primary cause of death in Victoria, constituting 27% of deaths in 2022, above circulatory and respiratory system diseases in mortality. 11,829 cancer deaths were reported in 2022, contributing to 63,628 years of life lost prematurely. This is all despite a decline in age-standardised cancer-related deaths amid an ageing population.



Age-standardised mortality ratio (with 95% confidence interval) for the ten most common cancers diagnosed in Aboriginal Victorians by sex, comparing Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians, 2017-2021 (Figure 28)

Aboriginal Victorians are over three times more likely to succumb to cancer than non-Aboriginal Victorians, with notably elevated mortality rates among Aboriginal males (3.3 times) and females (3.1 times) between 2017-2021. Aboriginal Victorians have significantly higher mortality rates for various cancers like oesophagus, lung, and liver.



Age-standardised mortality ratio (with 95% confidence interval) for the ten most common cancers comparing Victorians diagnosed in regional and non-regional regions by sex, Victoria 2020-2022 (Figure 30)

Residents in regional areas face a 16% higher likelihood of cancer-related mortality compared to major city dwellers, evident in both regional males (16% higher) and females (13% higher) between 2020-2022. Regional Victorians, in particular, exhibit increased mortality rates for various cancers such as ill-defined tumours, melanoma, oesophagus, prostate, bowel, head and neck, lung, and leukaemia.

Visit the Mortality chapter
Published on 7th December 2023

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Living with cancer


A snapshot of cancer survival in Victoria in 2022:

  • The 5-year survival rate for Victorians diagnosed with cancer has increased 48% over the past 30 years.
  • Across all cancers, the 5-year survival rate is 73% for females and 70% for males.
  • Survival rates vary significantly across cancer types and are also impacted by a person's age, whether they identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, where they live, and the stage of cancer at diagnosis.


Five-year relative survival for breast, bowel and prostate cancer, one- year relative survival for melanoma and three-year relative survival for endometrial cancer by stage of disease at diagnosis, Victoria 2021 (Figure 44)

The stage at which cancer is diagnosed significantly impacts survival rates. Early-stage diagnosis, particularly in breast, prostate, and melanoma cases, shows a relative survival rate exceeding 100%. This suggests potential associations with factors like socioeconomic status, improved healthcare access, or lifestyle changes post-diagnosis that enhance survival rates.

Visit the Living with cancer chapter
Published on 7th December 2023

Male scientist in white coat, smiling, in laboratory

Prevalence


A snapshot of cancer survival in Victoria in 2022:

  • An estimated 129,454 Victorians are alive after a cancer diagnosis in the past five years, and 211,930 Victorians are alive after a cancer diagnosis in the past 10 years.
  • Over 342,000 Victorians have a personal history of cancer, with most having had their cancer diagnosed more than five years ago.
  • The proportion of Victorians alive after a cancer diagnosis in the previous 5 years has more than doubled in the last 35 years.
  • The most prevalent cancer for Victorian men aged 50 and over is prostate cancer.
  • The most prevalent cancer for Victorian women aged 50 and over is breast cancer.


342,000 Victorians with a history of cancer are alive today.

Visit the Prevalence chapter
Published on 7th December 2023

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Blood cancers in Victoria


A snapshot of blood cancers in Victoria in 2022:

  • 1 in 8 cancers diagnosed in Victorians is a blood cancer.
  • Rates of blood cancers were increasing by about 1% annually between 2005 and 2020 and have been stable over the past three years.
  • Rates of blood cancer deaths are declining by more than 2% annually.
  • Five-year survival for Victorians continues to improve for all blood cancers.
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and Hodgkin lymphoma account for 66% of blood cancers diagnosed in Victorians aged under 30 years.
  • Plasma cell myeloma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndromes and chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia account for 50% of blood cancers in Victorians aged 30 years and above.
  • Despite being the blood cancer with the lowest survival rate, recent years have seen significant advances in improving outcomes for acute myreloid leukaemia.
  • Approximately 17,928 Victorians are living with a blood cancer diagnosed in the past five years.


Distribution (%) of new diagnoses of the selected major blood cancer types (and other) by age group, Victoria 2013-2022 n: Absolute number (Figure 53).

Blood cancers are more frequently diagnosed in males than females. In 2022, 58% of diagnosed blood cancer cases were males (2,636) and 42% were females (1,930), with age-standardised rates at 46 cases per 100,000 in males and 31 cases per 100,000 in females. Incidence rates for blood cancers have shown an annual increase of 1% until 2020, while age-standardised mortality has decreased by over 2% annually.



Five-year relative survival for selected blood cancers in the period 1982-1986, 1997-2001 and 2017-2021. (Figure 54)

Over time, the five-year survival rates for all blood cancers have been improving among Victorians. The survival outlook after a blood cancer diagnosis varies by subtype, with survival rates ranging from 30% to 93% over five years. Five-year survival rates for blood cancers have shown consistent improvement over three periods from 1982-1986, 1997-2001, and 2017-2021.

Visit the Blood cancer chapter
Published on 7th December 2023



Cancer in Victoria 2022

Each year, we produce a detailed statistical report on trends in cancer presentation, incidence, survival and mortality.

Download the report


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