Cancer cases triple: three Queenslanders diagnosed every hour

Health Professional Cancer Network

Three people are diagnosed with cancer every hour in Queensland, according to the latest statistics, which reveal cancer cases have more than tripled over the past 32 years.

Cancer Council’s Cancer Research Centre has released 2014 data and trends (the latest available) for incidence, survival, mortality and prevalence, providing the latest snapshot of cancer in Queensland.

Media are invited for filming, photographs and interview opportunities:
What: CCQ releases the latest statistics on cancer in Queensland
Where: Cancer Council Queensland – 553 Gregory Terrace, Fortitude Valley
When: 10am, Monday 20 February 2017
Who: Cancer Council Queensland CEO Professor Jeff Dunn AO, Coby Hailes – 32 year old Teneriffe local who lost 40kg over 18 months to better health

The Queensland Cancer Registry data shows the number of cancers diagnosed in Queensland has more than tripled since 1982 – from 8277 cases to more than 27,000 cases in 2014.

The statistics also reinforce a focus on prevention. Evidence shows at least a third of all cancer cases in Queensland could be prevented – equal to one case of cancer every hour.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Professor Jeff Dunn AO said after adjusting for population ageing and growth, the data showed a 23 per cent increase in cancer since the early 80s.

Prostate cancer remains the most common cancer diagnosed in Queensland, followed by melanoma, breast and bowel cancer,” Prof Dunn said.

“Melanoma is the most common cancer diagnosed among those aged under 35 years, while breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among those aged 35-49.

“The new figures show more than 8700 Queenslanders will die from a diagnosis of cancer each year.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death, causing 21 per cent of all cancer deaths – followed by bowel, prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer.

“Trends over time show mortality rates continue to decrease for many types of cancer, including prostate, lung cancer in males, breast cancer in females and bowel cancer.

“In contrast, liver cancer mortality has increased among both sexes, melanoma mortality among males, and pancreatic cancer mortality among females.”

At the end of 2014, there were 91,020 Queenslanders alive who had been diagnosed with cancer in the previous five years.

Prostate cancer, with its high incidence and survival, was the most prevalent cancer among survivors, followed by melanoma and breast cancer.

“Encouragingly, the five-year relative survival rate for all types of cancer is the highest we’ve ever seen – at 70 per cent,” Prof Dunn said.

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

“Of the ten most commonly diagnosed cancers, thyroid cancer had the highest five-year relative survival, followed by prostate cancer and melanoma.

“Much poorer survival has been observed for pancreatic cancer and lung cancer.”

At least a third of all cancer cases in Queensland could be prevented – around 9000 every year.

“While survival rates are improving overall – we have the resources and information available to prevent 24 cases of cancer every day,” Prof Dunn said.

“Queenslanders should participate in recommended cancer screening, quit smoking, eat healthily, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, stay SunSmart and limit alcohol intake to reduce the risk of preventable cancers.”

The 2014 Cancer Research Centre data is available online at

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at or via 13 11 20.

For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift,
Executive Manager,
Media and Spokesperson,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5372
Mobile: 0409 001 171