4364.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/10/2012  First Issue
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Cancer is a condition in which the body's cells grow and spread in an uncontrolled manner. A cancerous cell can arise from almost any cell, and therefore cancer can be found almost anywhere in the body.

In 2011-12 there were 326,600 persons who had cancer, or around 1.5% of the Australian population. This reflects little change from 2007-08 (1.6%).

Cancer was more common amongst men (1.8%) than women (1.2%), and more common at older ages. The highest rate of cancer for men and women was for 75 years and over (11.1%, and 4.4% respectively).

Of all persons with cancer, nearly 1 in 3 people (32.6%) had skin cancer, making this the most common type of cancer.

The prevalence of cancer increased with age, with 7.4% of people aged 75 years and over having cancer compared with 1.2% of people aged 45-54 years.

Graph Image for Proportion of persons with cancer, 2011-12

When interpreting data from the 2011-12 Australian Health Survey it should be noted that the survey excluded persons in hospitals, nursing and convalescent homes and hospices. These exclusions are expected to have a greater effect on data for cancer rates than for most other conditions, as a high proportion of people with cancer may be receiving treatment in these facilities.

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