4364.0.55.002 - Health Service Usage and Health Related Actions, Australia, 2014-15  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/03/2017   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All
27 March 2017
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra Time)

8 million adults tested for cancer in 2 years

Australians are more likely to have been tested for cancer than they were only a few years ago, according to data released today by the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"In 2014-15, 8.1 million Australian adults (46 per cent) had been tested for cancer in the last two years," said Louise Gates, ABS Director of Health Statistics. "This saw the proportion of Australian adults ever tested for cancer increase from 55 per cent in 2011-12 to 62 per cent in 2014-15."

For women over the age of 50, breast cancer testing rates increased from 64 per cent to 77 per cent between 2011-12 and 2014-15, cervical cancer from 60 per cent to 71 per cent and bowel cancer testing rates almost doubled from 27 per cent to 49 per cent.

Similarly, for men over the age of 50, prostate cancer testing rates increased from 48 per cent to 58 per cent in the same time period, while bowel cancer testing rates had increased from 34 per cent to 55 per cent.

From age 50, it is recommended that people at average risk screen for bowel cancer every two years 1. Around one in three people (30 per cent) over the age of 50 were tested for bowel cancer in the two years prior to the survey.

BreastScreen Australia invites women aged between 50 and 74 to have a mammogram every two years2. Of all women aged 50 - 74 years, over half (55 per cent) were tested for breast cancer in the two years prior to the survey.

Other results discussed in the Health Service Usage and Health Related Actions (cat. no. 4364.0.55.002) publication include use of health services, medications used, actions taken for health conditions such as asthma or hypertension and rates of breastfeeding and private health insurance. This publication is available for free download from: https://www.abs.gov.au/.

Media notes:

  • Adults refers to people aged 18 years and over.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our email notification service and get media releases or products sent to you on release.

1. Royal Australian College of General Practitioners <http://www.racgp.org.au/your-practice/guidelines/redbook/9-early-detection-of-cancers/92-colorectal-cancer/>, accessed 22/03/2017
2. BreastScreen Australia, <http://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/breast-screening-1>, accessed 14/03/2017