4338.0 - Profiles of Health, Australia, 2011-13  
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 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

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: First Results

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.

Previous results for cancer

National Health Survey 2007–08, 2004–05, 2001, 1995
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2004-05

Other articles on cancer

Causes of Death, Australia, 2010: Neoplasms
The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008: Health conditions and illness
Cancer in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05
Australian Social Trends, 2004: Mortality and Morbidity: Cancer trends
Australian Social Trends, 2000: Cancer screening