Cancer survival can be used as an indicator of cancer prognosis at a population level and of effectiveness of treatments provided.1
Relative survival refers to the probability of being alive for a given amount of time after diagnosis, compared with the experience of the general population. The measure '5-year relative survival at diagnosis’ (hereafter referred to as ‘5-year survival’) answers the question: "what is the probability that an individual will survive their cancer for 5 years after a cancer diagnosis”.
In 2010-14, 5-year relative survival ranged from 9% to 95% for the cancer types analysed
In 2010-14, 5-year relative survival was 69% for all cancers combined. Among the cancer types analysed, 5-year relative survival was highest for cancers of the prostate (95%), melanoma (91%) and female breast (91%). The lowest 5-year relative survival was for cancers of the pancreas (9%), unknown primary site (14%) and lung (17%).
For all cancers combined, there have been improvements in 5-year relative survival since 1984-1988
In the period 2010-14, 5-year relative survival was 69% for all cancers combined, compared to 48% for the 1984-88 period. For each of the cancer types analysed, the 5-year relative survival was higher in 2010-14 than in 1984-1988, except for bladder cancer and brain cancer.
5-year observed survival for all cancers combined was lower for Indigenous Australians
In 2010-14, 5-year observed survival for all cancers combined was 45% for Indigenous Australians and 58% for non-Indigenous Australians.
The difference in 5-year relative survival between men and women has decreased over time
For all cancers combined in 1984-1988, the 5-year relative survival was higher in women (55%) than men (43%). This difference has decreased over time and the 5-year relative survival in the period 2010-14 was similar for women (69%) and men (68%).
5-year observed survival increased with increasing socioeconomic status
In 2010-14, 5-year observed survival was higher in the highest SES areas for all cancers combined and most of the selected cancer types analysed.
01 Apr, 2019
Relative survival by stage at diagnosis 2011-2016, a snapshot in time