Image showing colorful ribbons for different cancers

1.4 million Australians will die of cancer in the next 25 years

Long-term projections of cancer incidence and mortality estimate the future burden of cancer in a population. They can be of great help in informing health services planning and resource management. A new study from the Daffodil Centre, a joint venture of Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydneyaimed at estimating the incidence and death rates and the number of new cases and deaths up to 2044 for all cancers combined in Australia.

The study shows that 1.45 million Australians will die from cancer in the next 25 years unless governments act, i.e. from 2020 to 2044 unless major investments are made in prevention, early detection and patient care.

This is the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind that provides a blueprint for how to monitor and treat cancer in the future. It also makes it possible to prioritize future cancer control policies and research based on where the highest burden is expected.

More than 4.56 million additional cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed between 2020 and 2044. Despite the fact that 1.45 million Australians are likely to die between now and 2044, the overall death rate is expected to fall by about 20% – a smaller drop than in the previous 25 years (30 percent).

The director of the Daffodil Center and chair of the Cancer Council’s Cancer Screening and Immunization Committee, Professor Karen Canfell, said: “the study highlighted the magnitude of the projected cancer burden in Australia and how trends in future expected cases and death rates reflect success stories, opportunities and future priorities.”

“Each of those 4.56 million individuals who could develop cancer in the future is a valued member of our community. Research is needed to support breakthroughs in prevention, treatment and care. Further investments are also needed to increase access to the most effective existing approaches, such as national screening programmes.”

Lung cancer (43 percent for men and 31 percent for women) and melanoma are the two most common malignancies for which death rates are expected to drop dramatically (49 percent for men and 28 percent for women). Certain declines will be driven primarily by established prevention strategies, such as tobacco control and sun protection, and improved treatments for these cancers.

Professor Karen Canfell, director of The Daffodil Centre, said: “We could significantly improve these outcomes… but only if there is a commitment to invest in doing more of what we know works to prevent, detect and treat cancer, and to fund more potentially life-saving cancer research.” .”

“The death rate for most cancers is expected to decline at varying rates, with the exception of some cancers that are expected to be relatively stable or increasing. While this projected decrease in the overall cancer death rate is positive, we know that a 20% decrease over the next 25 years is not enough.”

“We could significantly improve these outcomes and potentially save hundreds of thousands of the 1.45 million lives expected to be lost – but only if there is a commitment to invest in doing more of what we know works to prevent cancer.” , detect and treat, and fund more potentially life-saving cancer research.”

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Tanya Buchanan, noted That now is the time for governments to take action.

“Australia is facing an unprecedented growth in new cancer cases, representing millions of people in need of treatment and care. The government must act now so that Australia can improve this image across the community over the next 25 years.”

Magazine reference:

  1. Qingwei Luo et al. Cancer incidence and mortality in Australia from 2020 to 2044 and an exploratory analysis of the potential effect of treatment delays during the COVID-19 pandemic: a statistical modeling study. DOI: 10.1016/S2468-2667(22)00090-1

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