Time trends in cancer incidence and mortality

Bruce K Armstrong
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.11247
Published online: 4 November 2013

What do they tell us about cancer control in Australia?

There have been some spectacular trends, both good and bad, in cancer incidence and mortality in Australia over the past three decades. Using data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW),1 the annual average percentage change in incidence and mortality of the most common cancers in Australia can be calculated for this period, as shown in the Box. Perhaps the most notable trends are annual 5%–6% rises in the incidence of hepatic and prostatic cancers and 4%–5% falls in mortality from Hodgkin lymphoma and cervical and testicular cancers. These examples reflect the annual trends in the rates of all cancers: increasing incidence of 0.7% (95% CI, 0.5%–0.9%) and falling mortality of 1.4% (95% CI, 1.2%–1.5%).

  • Bruce K Armstrong1,2

  • 1 The Sax Institute, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


Chris Goumas did the statistical analysis of annual percentage changes in cancer rates.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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