Cancer incidence projections Australia, 2011 to 2020

9 March 2012

This report presents projections of cancer incidence in Australia for 2011 to 2020. The information is important for health service planning and resource allocation in the future.

The projections are presented for males and females at the national level for all cancers combined, as well as the most commonly diagnosed cancers.

It is important to note that projections are not intended to function as exact forecasts, but to give an indication of what might be expected if the stated assumptions were to apply over the projected time frame.

The number of cases of cancer diagnosed in Australia is projected to rise over the next decade for both males and females and is expected to reach about 150,000 in 2020—an increase of almost 40% from 2007. Increases in the number of cases diagnosed are due primarily to the ageing and increasing population and are expected to be most evident in older populations.

Cancer incidence in males is highly influenced by prostate cancer, which accounts for about 30% of all cases. Assuming incidence of prostate cancer stabilises in the future, it is projected that the overall age-standardised rate of cancer in males will fall from 595 to about 568 cases per 100,000 males between 2007 and 2020. With the anticipated changes to the population, this equates to about 85,000 new cases expected to be diagnosed in 2020. Conversely, the overall age-standardised rate of cancer incidence in females is projected to rise from 394 to about 408 cases per 100,000 females between 2007 and 2020, which equates to about 65,000 new cases expected to be diagnosed in 2020.