What is known?
Health services and governments need to know how many cancer diagnoses are expected ten or fifteen years into the future for planning and policy development. Often, published cancer projections do not include information about the high level of uncertainty that those projections have.
What is new?
We projected the annual numbers and rates of cancer diagnoses in Australia up to 2031 for some of the most common cancer types. We also estimated how certain we could be in those projections. The number of diagnoses for these types of cancer will be 50% greater in 2031 than in 2016. The increase is mostly due to the increasing and ageing population, however, for some cancer types, notably liver cancer among males and females and lung cancer among females, diagnosis rates are expected to increase even after accounting for increases in population and ageing.
What does this mean?
The increases in the number of cancer diagnoses expected over the next 15 years highlight the need for interventions to improve health behaviours for the population as a whole. Modifiable health behaviours associated with the increases in diagnoses include nutrition, physical activity and healthy weight and management of hepatitis B and C infections.
Contact: Jess Cameron
Reference: Cameron JK, Baade PD. Projections of the future burden of cancer in Australia using Bayesian age-period-cohort models. Cancer Epidemiology. 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2021.101935.