NEW cancer cases on the Gold Coast are set to increase by more than 1291 diagnoses a year within 10 years, according to a new report detailing cancer incidence projections released this month.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Radiation oncology areas of need: cancer incidence projections 2014-2024, indicates Queensland will experience the third-highest growth rate of cancer cases in the country over the next decade.
The report predicts an average annual increase of around 4.2 per cent in the number of new cancer cases diagnosed in Queensland from 2014 to 2024.
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On the Gold Coast alone, about 3447 people will be diagnosed with cancer this year. By 2024, that number is expected to rise to around 4738 annually.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said an ageing and increasing population was responsible for the predicted rise in cases.
“Because of our ageing and increasing population, the number of new cancer cases diagnosed is currently increasing at twice the rate of Queensland’s population growth,” Ms Clift said.
“This means an increasing demand for cancer services and support to help Queenslanders cope with a diagnosis.
“We also have a responsibility to help slow the growth of these rising cancer cases through making simple lifestyle adjustments and preventing cancer.
“One in three cancer cases diagnosed each year in Queensland are preventable, and we have the opportunity to significantly reduce our personal risk.
“Quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, participating in recommended screening, eating healthily, staying SunSmart, engaging in regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are all lifestyle factors that can reduce our risk of cancer.
“It’s also crucial that we continue working closely with local and State Governments on initiatives that help all Queenslanders stay healthy, and prevent potentially lethal habits that lead to cancer.
“We have urged the State Government to fast-track new laws creating designated smoke free public spaces across the state – to save Queensland lives.
“We have also supported the State Government’s recent public health campaigns to tackle obesity throughout Queensland.
“These types of initiatives have the power to slow predicted increases in cancer cases.”
Around 24,000 Queenslanders will be diagnosed with cancer this year. By 2024, that number is expected to rise to more than 37,000 annually.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland and its support services is available via Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.