Cancer rate in Australian state triples over past 30 years

By on February 19, 2017

ShutterStock photo
ShutterStock photo

SYDNEY—The Cancer Council of Queensland revealed statistics on Monday, showing the cases of cancer have tripled since 1982 in the far north Australian state, from 8,277 to more than 27,000 cases reported in 2014.

In a troubling trend, the figures show that more than a third of the cases of cancer that were found in Queensland could have been prevented, with the analysis suggesting the rate of preventable new instances of cancer was one every hour over the period.

Jeff Dunn, chief executive officer of the Cancer Council of Queensland said on Monday, that when factoring in growth, and an ageing population, the increase of instances of cancer comes in at a troubling 23 percent over the past 30 years.

“The new figures show more than 8,700 Queenslanders will die from a diagnosis of cancer each year,” Dunn said.

“Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death, causing 21 percent of all cancer deaths, followed by bowel, prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer.”

However, Dunn is hopeful that another trend that emerged may provide hope for the future, with the number of people that are surviving a dreaded cancer diagnosis also rising.

“Encouragingly, the five-year relative survival rate for all types of cancer is the highest we have ever seen, at 70 percent,” Dunn said.

“More Queenslanders are surviving a cancer diagnosis today than at any other time in history.”

Dunn insists however that more needs to be done by members of the public to improve their lifestyles, cut out habits that are harmful, and to exercise more in order to ensure the rate of preventable cancers goes down.