Queensland records highest incidence of cancer in Australia

QUEENSLAND recorded the highest rates of cancer than anywhere else in Australia in the four years between 2006 and 2010, the latest statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) show.

The Cancer Incidence and Mortality Across Regions (CIMAR) books, released yesterday, found Queensland had the highest incidence rate for all cancers combined for all persons.

The state also recorded the highest incidence rate for women and second highest for men, behind Tasmania.


Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said more than 26,000 Queenslanders were diagnosed with cancer every year, and more than 8600 died from the disease.

“One of the reasons for the higher incidence rate of cancer in Queensland is our higher incidence rate of melanoma,” Ms Clift said.

“Queensland remains the skin cancer capital of the world – our melanoma rates are far higher than any other jurisdiction nationally and internationally.

“Cancer cases overall are expected to rise in Queensland in coming years, due to our ageing and increasing population.

“While incidence may be increasing, our data shows more Queenslanders are surviving a cancer diagnosis today than at any other time in history, which gives us hope for the future.”

The AIHW report found cancer affected 542 per 100,000 people in Queensland between 2006 and 2010.

Around 66 people per 100,000 were affected by bowel cancer, 47 people per 100,000 were affected by lung cancer and 67 people per 100,000 were affected by melanoma.

Queensland has the second highest rates nationally for leukaemia and colorectal cancer, and third highest for lung cancer.

Remote and very remote parts of Queensland recorded higher incidence of the disease, for all cancers combined.

“Assuming current rates remain stable, by 2021 it is estimated that over 34,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed each year in Queensland, placing an even greater burden on our community and the health system,” Ms Clift said.

“While survival rates are improving, we know that one third of all cancers diagnosed every year can be prevented.

“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.”