HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Cancer: New cases and cancer-related deaths

Cancer-related deaths, All other cancers
5Cancer-related deaths, Thyroid cancer
0.6Cancer-related deaths, Testicular cancer
0.2Cancer-related deaths, Stomach cancer
6.7Cancer-related deaths, Rectal cancer
8.7Cancer-related deaths, Prostate cancer
21.9Cancer-related deaths, Pancreatic cancer
10.5Cancer-related deaths, Oesophageal cancer
5.8Cancer-related deaths, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
6.6Cancer-related deaths, Myelodysplsia
3.3Cancer-related deaths, Multiple myeloma
3.9Cancer-related deaths, Mesothelioma
4.3Cancer-related deaths, Melanoma of skin
6.4Cancer-related deaths, Lung cancer
38Cancer-related deaths, Liver cancer
7.5Cancer-related deaths, Lip cancer
0.2Cancer-related deaths, Leukaemia
6.4Cancer-related deaths, Kidney cancer
5.3Cancer-related deaths, Head and neck
7Cancer-related deaths, Gallbladder
2.5Cancer-related deaths, Colon cancer
12.6Cancer-related deaths, Cancer unknown primary
8.1Cancer-related deaths, Breast cancer
0.2Cancer-related deaths, Brain cancer
6.1Cancer-related deaths, Bladder cancer
5.2New cases, All other cancers
19.9New cases, Thyroid cancer
7.2New cases, Testicular cancer
7.2New cases, Stomach cancer
12.7New cases, Rectal cancer
26.2New cases, Prostate cancer
144.9New cases, Pancreatic cancer
14New cases, Oesophageal cancer
7.8New cases, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
24.1New cases, Myelodysplsia
7.4New cases, Multiple myeloma
8.6New cases, Mesothelioma
5.2New cases, Melanoma of skin
67.5New cases, Lung cancer
53.8New cases, Liver cancer
13.6New cases, Lip cancer
5.8New cases, Leukaemia
18.3New cases, Kidney cancer
21.2New cases, Head and neck
22.6New cases, Gallbladder
4.7New cases, Colon cancer
39.9New cases, Cancer unknown primary
12.4New cases, Breast cancer
1New cases, Brain cancer
8.5New cases, Bladder cancer
  • + 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. 

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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