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BCNA News 14 Mar 2018

Over 18,000 Australians to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018

In 2018, an estimated 18,235 Australians –18,087 women and 148 men – will be diagnosed with breast cancer.[i] This means that approximately 50 Australians will be diagnosed with breast cancer each day. Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in Australia[ii], and will account for approximately 28.4 percent of all new cancers in Australian women in 2018.[iii]

Advances in treatment and care, as well as improvements in the detection of breast cancer, mean that Australia has one of the best breast cancer survival rates in the world.[iv] The latest statistics show that the five-year relative survival rate (i.e. the chance of surviving at least five years) has increased from 72 percent in 1982-1987[v] to 90.1 percent in 2009-2013.[vi]

New projections by the Cancer Council of Australia estimate that 359,000 people will be living with or beyond breast cancer by 2040 in Australia.[vii] As the number of Australians living with and beyond breast cancer increases, the work of BCNA will become more important to ensure that supports extend beyond treatment and that Australians have access to information and services that help them manage the long-term side effects of treatment.

We do not know the number of Australians diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer each year as this data is not collected. BCNA will continue to advocate for the improved data collection through the cancer registries so that more accurate information is available about the number of people living with metastatic breast cancer in Australia.

In 2018, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) estimates that 3,128 women and 28 men will die from breast cancer.[viii] While the number of deaths from breast cancer is decreasing, breast cancer accounts for 14.9 percent of all cancer deaths in Australian women.[ix]

More information on the latest breast cancer statistics is available on the Understanding breast cancer page of our website. You can also view these statistics as an infographic.

The AIHW’s report, Cancer in Australia 2017, is available on the AIHW website, and information about the Cancer Council’s projections of the number of Australians likely to be living with and beyond cancer in 2040 is available on the Cancer Council’s website.