13 February 2015

Lung cancer still WA's biggest cancer killer

Lung cancer remains the most deadly type of cancer in Western Australia, while prostate and breast cancers are the most common, according to a new report released today.

The Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Western Australia 2013 report shows there was 11,743 new diagnoses of cancer in Western Australia, with 6649 cases occurring in males and 5094 cases in females.

There were 3994 deaths due to cancer – 2250 in males and 1744 in females.

Dr Tim Threlfall from the WA Cancer Registry said the latest data was consistent with previous years.

“Lung cancer was the most common cause of cancer-related death for both males and females, killing one in 44 males and one in 60 females before age 75,” Dr Threlfall said.

“Other common causes of cancer-related deaths were colorectal and prostate cancers in men, and breast and colorectal cancers in females.

“In terms of cancer incidence, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, melanoma and lung cancer, remain the most common in men while breast cancer is still the dominant type of cancer in women.”

Dr Threlfall said the overall incidence cancer rate for males and females had decreased slightly for the second consecutive year.

In 2013, there were 75 children under the age of 15 diagnosed with cancer, which was slightly fewer  than in 2012 but still considerably more than in 2010. The most common types were leukaemias, brain tumours and neuroblastomas.

For the 15–39 year of age group, there were 615 cancer diagnoses in 2013 (5 per cent fewer than reported for 2012) and 63 cancer-related deaths.

The Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Western Australia report is compiled annually by the Western Australian Cancer Registry. It provides population-based cancer data for use in the planning of health care services and the support of cancer-related research.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Melanoma of the skin is the second most common incident cancer in both males and females in the 15–39 years age range
  • Based on 2013 data, one in 7 men would be expected to have a diagnosis of prostate cancer before the age of 75, and one in 11 women would be expected to develop breast cancer
  • Cancers in males accounted for 57 per cent of all cases in Western Australia.

View the Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Western Australia 2013 report.

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