Australia’s MIRs are among the lowest for all cancers combined, and for most cancer types, when compared with similar countries. Australia’s low MIRs suggest that cancer survival in Australia is high compared with similar developed countries.
Australia had the lowest MIR for all cancers combined (0.36, estimated for 2012). Australia had a lower MIR than the (unweighted) average MIR of similar developed countries for each cancer type examined. Australia also had the lowest MIR among these similar developed countries for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and pancreatic cancer.
It should be noted that these international comparisons are from one year of estimated data only (2012), and so will be validated when updated international data on incidence and mortality are available and can be analysed.
The highest MIRs (for all persons) in 2011 were for liver cancer (1.0), oesophageal cancer (0.9), pancreatic cancer (0.9) and lung cancer (0.8). A MIR of 0.8-1.0 indicates that in 2011, for every person diagnosed with one of these cancers there was a corresponding death from the same cancer. Among females, ovarian cancer also had a high MIR (0.7) in 2011.
The lowest MIRs were for melanoma (0.1 for all persons), and for prostate cancer in males (0.2) and breast cancer in females (0.3), indicating higher survival rates for these cancers.