A new study has revealed that cancer cases in Queensland have more than tripled over the past 32 years, but there is a silver lining.
Three Queenslanders are being diagnosed with cancer every hour, according to the latest study released by Cancer Council’s Cancer Research Centre.
More than 27,000 cases of cancer were diagnosed in Queensland in 2014 (the latest year for which figures are available), more than triple the amount of people that were diagnosed in 1982.
Adjusting for population ageing and growth, that’s a 23 per cent increase in cancer in Queensland since the early ’80s.
“Prostate cancer remains the most common cancer diagnosed in Queensland, followed by melanoma, breast and bowel cancer,” says Cancer Council Queensland’s CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO.
“Melanoma is the most common cancer diagnosed among those aged under 35 years, while breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among those aged 35-49.
“The new figures show more than 8,700 Queenslanders will die from a diagnosis of cancer each year.
“Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death, causing 21 per cent of all cancer deaths — followed by bowel, prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer.
“Trends over time show mortality rates continue to decrease for many types of cancer, including prostate and lung cancer in males, breast cancer in females and bowel cancer.
“In contrast, liver cancer mortality has increased among both sexes, melanoma mortality among males, and pancreatic cancer mortality among females.”
Despite the increase in cancer cases, the study did reveal some good news.
“Encouragingly, the five-year relative survival rate for all types of cancer is the highest we’ve ever seen, at 70 per cent,” Professor Dunn says.
“More Queenslanders are surviving a cancer diagnosis today than at any other time in history.
“Of the ten most commonly diagnosed cancers, thyroid cancer had the highest five-year relative survival, followed by prostate cancer and melanoma.
“Much poorer survival has been observed for pancreatic cancer and lung cancer.”
Professor Dunn says at least a third of all cancer cases in Queensland could be prevented — that’s around 9,000 every year, or one per hour.
“While survival rates are improving overall, we have the resources and information available to prevent 24 cases of cancer every day,” he says.
“Queenslanders should participate in recommended cancer screening, quit smoking, eat healthily, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, stay SunSmart and limit alcohol intake to reduce the risk of preventable cancers.”