HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Cancer: New cases and cancer-related deaths

  • NSW trend by type of cancer
    Cancer type
  • by type of cancer and year
  • by clinical group and year
  • by clinical group, trend
  • by clinical group, comparison
Males, New cases, 2015
571.4Males, New cases, 2014
562.8Males, New cases, 2013
575Males, New cases, 2012
602.8Males, New cases, 2011
601.5Males, New cases, 2010
598.6Males, New cases, 2009
610.9Males, New cases, 2008
607.6Males, New cases, 2007
612.5Males, New cases, 2006
606.7Males, New cases, 2005
605.7Males, New cases, 2004
604.8Males, New cases, 2003
567.8Males, New cases, 2002
545.7Males, New cases, 2001
539.4Males, New cases, 2000
536.2Males, New cases, 1999
535.4Males, New cases, 1998
530.5Males, New cases, 1997
549.5Males, New cases, 1996
546.8Males, New cases, 1995
582.2Males, New cases, 1994
601Males, New cases, 1993
578.9Males, New cases, 1992
546Males, New cases, 1991
521.1Males, New cases, 1990
513.4Males, New cases, 1989
500.1Males, New cases, 1988
490Males, New cases, 1987
488.2Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2015
189.5Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2014
188.4Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2013
201.7Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2012
204.7Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2011
208Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2010
209Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2009
210.4Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2008
215.6Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2007
222Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2006
228.3Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2005
233.9Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2004
234.8Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2003
231.6Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2002
234Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2001
244.1Males, Cancer-related deaths, 2000
239.6Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1999
243.6Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1998
248.5Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1997
252.8Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1996
257.6Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1995
261Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1994
276Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1993
272.1Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1992
277.5Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1991
270.6Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1990
283.9Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1989
294.2Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1988
281.4Males, Cancer-related deaths, 1987
283.5Females, New cases, 2015
431.1Females, New cases, 2014
435.2Females, New cases, 2013
434.1Females, New cases, 2012
422.8Females, New cases, 2011
419Females, New cases, 2010
413Females, New cases, 2009
412.3Females, New cases, 2008
406.7Females, New cases, 2007
402.1Females, New cases, 2006
405.9Females, New cases, 2005
406.2Females, New cases, 2004
407.9Females, New cases, 2003
405.9Females, New cases, 2002
395Females, New cases, 2001
390.6Females, New cases, 2000
382.2Females, New cases, 1999
372.3Females, New cases, 1998
383Females, New cases, 1997
380.6Females, New cases, 1996
372.8Females, New cases, 1995
380.9Females, New cases, 1994
375.6Females, New cases, 1993
368.4Females, New cases, 1992
363Females, New cases, 1991
362.2Females, New cases, 1990
344.4Females, New cases, 1989
339.4Females, New cases, 1988
345Females, New cases, 1987
346.8Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2015
124.4Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2014
129.7Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2013
126Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2012
131.2Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2011
133.3Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2010
135.7Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2009
134.3Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2008
136Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2007
136.8Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2006
142.9Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2005
143.2Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2004
145.1Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2003
146.4Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2002
145.2Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2001
145.1Females, Cancer-related deaths, 2000
144Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1999
143.1Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1998
147.9Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1997
146.8Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1996
156.6Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1995
156.9Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1994
157.8Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1993
156.8Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1992
157Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1991
160.3Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1990
161.3Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1989
164.2Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1988
164.4Females, Cancer-related deaths, 1987
  • + Source

    Annual NSW cancer incidence and mortality data from the Cancer Institute NSW. Population estimates based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (SAPHaRI). Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.

  • + Notes

    Primary site of cancer (topography) and cell type (morphology) are coded according to the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, third edition (ICD-O-3). Hospitals in NSW code disease in ICD-10 AM (Australian modification) and are required to notify the following invasive codes: C00-C76, C80-C96. Notification of basal and squamous cell carcinoma of skin is not required (C44, M805-M811). 

    For the purposes of reporting, only primary invasive cancers are counted and included in statistics. Multiple primary cancers in the same person are counted according to the rules set out by the International Association of Cancer Registries. In this module, mesothelioma, Kaposi's sarcoma, lymphoma and other neoplasms of haematopoietic and reticuloendothelial systems are tabulated as separate entities and not included in the statistics for the organs in which these diseases were diagnosed. 

    This module is based on grouping ICD-O3 topography and morphology codes that are similar to ICD-10 classifications but follow earlier ICD-9 coding used in incidence and mortality reports from 1995. These reporting categories have been used to ensure continuity of trends.

    Rates were age-adjusted using the Australian population as at 30 June 2001. Numbers for the latest year of data include an estimate of the small numbers of deaths that were registered in the subsequent year, data for which were unavailable at the time of production. No number is displayed in the table if the number of cases is <5. 

  • + Commentary

    Cancer death rates in NSW have decreased from 1987 to 2016, however the rate of new cases of cancer is increasing. This is due to earlier diagnosis through screening, improved diagnostic techniques as well as improvements in treatment.

    Compared with other causes, cancer was the second leading cause of death in 2016-2017 and contributed to 27.7% of all deaths in NSW. In 2018-19, cancer was the principal diagnosis for 3.9% of hospitalisations in NSW.

    The causes of cancer are complex but many cancers are preventable, through vaccination (for example, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Hepatitis B), changes to workplace risk (such as exposure to radiation and asbestos) and lifestyle factors such as smoking or poor diet. 

    The cancers that are most commonly diagnosed as new (or incident) cases are not necessarily those cancers with the highest number of deaths, as some cancers have much higher survival rates than other cancers. For example thyroid cancer has around 30 incident cases for every death, whereas mesothelioma has around ten incident cases for every nine deaths. 

  • + Data Table
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  • + Methods
  • + Codes
    • Cancer type codes


      ICD-O3 topography and/or morphology code







      Cancer unknown primary







      C23, C24

      Head and neck

      C01-C14, C30-C32











      Melanoma of skin

      C44 and M872-M879



      Multiple myeloma




      Non-Hodgkins lymphoma




















  • + Related Indicators
  • + Associated Information
    • Key points: Cancer

      • Cancer is Australia's leading cause of disease burden. It accounts for almost one-fifth of years of healthy life lost due to premature death, disease, and injury.

      • In NSW in 2016, there were 44,978 new cases of cancer (55% in males) and 13,944 deaths (57% in males). Over the 20 years between 1997 and 2016, the incidence rate all cancers increased by 4% in males and by 15% in females. Death rates fell by 28% in males and 12% in females over this same 20 year period.

      • In 2016 in NSW the five leading types of new cases of cancer in descending order were:

      • prostate cancer

      • breast cancer

      • melanoma

      • lung cancer

      • colon cancer.

      • However in 2016 in NSW:

      • lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer death

      • colon cancer was the second leading cause of cancer death

      • breast cancer was the third leading cause of cancer death

      • prostate cancer was the fourth leading cause of cancer death

      • pancreatic cancer was the fifth leading cause of cancer death

      • melanoma was the fourteenth leading cause of cancer death.

    • Introduction: Cancer


      Cancer is a diverse group of diseases in which abnormal cells proliferate and spread out of control. Cancer can develop from most types of cells in different parts of the body, each with its own pattern of growth and spread.

      Some cancers are very invasive and invade adjacent organs and spread to other parts of the body (metastasise) quickly, while others may remain in the body for years without showing any clinical symptoms. Benign neoplasms never spread to distant organs.

      Cancers are classified according to the organ in which they originate (primary site). Even when cancers spread to other organs (secondary cancers or metastases) it is usually possible to ascertain the origin of the malignant cells.

      Burden of disease from cancer

      Cancer is a major cause of mortality in Australia and contributes greatly to morbidity and disability. It accounts for 18% of the total burden of disease in Australia (AIHW 2019).

      Risk factors

      Most cancers have a unique set of causal factors, but many share risk factors. These include: smoking (responsible for the majority of preventable cancers); dietary influences; infectious agents; radiation (including ultraviolet radiation); and genetic factors. The most significant risk factor for developing cancer is old age.


      AIHW 2019. Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 18. Cat. no. BOD 21. Canberra: AIHW. Available at:

    • Interventions: Cancer

      Some cancers can be prevented though the avoidance of known risk factors. Risk of death from a number of cancers can be reduced by screening, early detection and appropriate and timely diagnosis treatment, and appropriate management and follow-up. 

      The Cancer Institute NSW is part of NSW Health and is NSW's cancer control agency. It was established under the Cancer Institute NSW (2003) Act and aims to lessen the impact of cancer across the State. The Cancer Institute NSW has the latest data and information on: cancer prevention, including quitting smoking, staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing alcohol intake, and minimising sun exposure; cancer screening and early detection programs in NSW including breast, cervical and bowel cancer screening; and cancer treatment and management


      Cancer Institute NSW. NSW Cancer Plan. Lessening the impact of cancers in NSW

    • For more information: Cancer

      Useful websites include:

      Cancer Institute NSW at

      Australian Bureau of Statistics at

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at

      Healthdirect at

      New South Wales Government. Public Health Act 1991 and Public Health Act 2010. Parliamentary Counsel's Office. Available at

Last Updated At: Tuesday, 2 June 2020