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.