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Contains key statistics and information about cancer and its prevalence in Australia

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Key statistics

  • Around one in fifty (1.8% or 456,200) people had cancer in 2022
  • One in three (34.9%) people with cancer had skin cancer, the most reported type of cancer 
  • Males were slightly more likely to have cancer than females (2.1% compared to 1.6%)

These statistics form part of the National Health Survey 2022. More information on other topics of interest from the survey are available on the National Health Survey 2022 page.

Cancer is a large range of diseases 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[1].

Cancer prevalence

In 2022, around one in fifty (1.8% or 456,200) people had cancer. Males were slightly more likely than females to have cancer (2.1% compared to 1.6%). As people age, this difference between males and females increased. One in ten (11.8%) males aged 75 years and over had cancer, compared to 6.7% of females. Overall, people aged 75 years and over were more likely than any other age group to have cancer (8.7%).

Of those with cancer, more than one in three people (34.9%) had skin cancer, making this the most commonly reported type of cancer. This trend has remained stable over the last decade, from 32.6% in 2011–12.

Characteristics of people with cancer

In 2022, people:

  • Living in areas of most disadvantage were more likely than those living in areas of least disadvantage to have cancer (2.3% compared to 1.2%)
  • Living with disability were more likely than those with no disability to have cancer (3.7% compared to 0.9%).

Adults with cancer were more likely to have experienced severe or very severe bodily pain than those with other long-term health conditions (20.0% compared to 9.5%).

Additional survey notes

This analysis focuses on cancer expected to last for six months or more (including cancer in remission) as reported in the National Health Survey. National data about notifiable cancers can be found on the AIHW website.

Data downloads

See the National Health Survey 2022 data downloads for the full suite of available data. Data relating to Cancer can be found in tables:

  • TABLE 1 Summary health characteristics, 2001 to 2022
  • TABLE 2 Summary health characteristics, by states and territories
  • TABLE 3 Long-term health conditions, by age and sex
  • TABLE 4 Selected long-term health conditions, by population characteristics
  • TABLE 5 Selected long-term health conditions, by health risk factors and health status
  • TABLE 15 Number of chronic conditions, by population characteristics, by age
  • TABLE 16 Comorbidity of selected chronic conditions, by age and sex.


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘Cancer’,; accessed 15/11/2023.

Media release

See National Health Survey 2022 media release for more information.




  • all usual residents in Australia aged 0+ years living in private dwellings.
  • urban and rural areas in all states and territories, excluding very remote parts of Australia and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.


The data available includes estimates for:

  • Australia
  • States and territories


The National Health Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Medications data from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Collection method

Face-to-face interview with an Australian Bureau of Statistics Interviewer.

Linkage to the Person Level Integrated Data Asset.  

Concepts, sources and methods

Health conditions are presented using a classification which is based on the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).

History of changes

Full history of changes.

View full methodology
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