HealthStats NSW

  • + About : 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. It is the second leading cause of death in NSW and is the primary cause for 5.6% 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. 

    Cancer death rates have decreased from 1987 to 2014, 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.

    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  to lessen the impact of cancer on members of the public in NSW. 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; Cancer treatment and management; and Cancer statistics