New research provides complete picture of cancer mortality burden

In an Australian first, Queensland researchers have used a new measure to provide a more complete picture of the mortality burden associated with a cancer diagnosis.

The study*, which looked at survival patterns across 13 types of cancer and a population-based cohort of over 2 million Australian cancer patients, was led by Cancer Council Queensland researchers.

The release of the findings coincides with the 33rd anniversary of Cancer Council’s Daffodil Day on Friday (August 23).

The standard measure of survival, known as relative survival, ignores the possibility that a person diagnosed with cancer may also die of causes other than their diagnosed cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan explained that the new measure used in the study, crude probability of death, allows the real risk of cancer death within ten years of cancer diagnosis to be estimated.

“The observed reductions over three decades in the probabilities of death due to cancer among Australian cancer patients are encouraging,” Ms McMillan said.

“However, this study also highlights that cancer still causes the premature death of many Australians, particularly those diagnosed with lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer or leukaemia, along with cervical cancer among females, where more than 50 per cent of patients die of their cancer within 10 years of diagnosis.

“These results highlight the need for continuing efforts to improve cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

“While the specific causes of improvements in survival are complex, they are consistent with advances in diagnostic methods and treatment options once a cancer is diagnosed. These advances only happen through research.

“This Daffodil Day, we’re calling on the community to donate towards our next three decades of cancer control.

“The daffodil is the international symbol of hope – we can all give more than hope to those affected by cancer simply by supporting the cause.”

Australians are encouraged to donate online this August, or at sites across the country on Daffodil Day.

For more information or to donate visit or call 1300 65 65 85.

For more information on Cancer Council Queensland visit or call 13 11 20.

* Paramita Dasgupta, Susanna Cramb, Kou Kou, Xue Qin Yu, Peter D. Baade. Temporal trends in net and crude probability of death from cancer and other causes in the Australian population, 1984–2013. Published in Cancer Epidemiology 62;(2019):101568.

This was the first Australian study reporting on temporal trends in crude probabilities of death.

About the Daffodil Day Appeal:

The Daffodil Day Appeal is Cancer Council’s most iconic and much-loved fundraising campaign. It is held throughout August, culminating in Daffodil Day on Friday, August 23, and is all about raising vital funds for life-saving cancer research.

It is a day of hope when Australians show their support for the people they know (or even those they don’t know) who have been affected by cancer.

Cancer Council is the largest independent funder of cancer research in Australia and aims to raise more than $4 million across the country this Daffodil Day Appeal.

For more informationphotos, or interviews, please contact: 

Lisa Maynard, Manager, Public Relations and Social Media, Cancer Council Queensland
M. 0488 015 702 E: