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Cervical cancer in Australia

Cervical cancer incorporates ICD-10 cancer code C53 (Malignant neoplasm of cervix).


Estimated number of new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in 2017

Female icon PNG 912 females


cervical cancer % of all new cancer cases PNG

Estimated % of all new female cancer cases diagnosed in 2017

1.5%


Estimated number of deaths from cervical cancer in 2017

Female icon PNG 254 females


cervical cancer % of all new cancer cases PNG

Estimated % of all female deaths from cancer in 2017

1.2%


67 in 100 PNG

Chance of surviving at least 5 years (2009–2013)

72%


Lots of people PNG

Females living with cervical cancer at the end of 2012 (diagnosed in the 5 year period 2008 to 2012)

3,165


New cases of cervical cancer

Cervical cancer was the 14th most commonly diagnosed cancer among females in Australia in 2013. In 2017, it is estimated that it will remain the 14th most commonly diagnosed cancer among females.

In 2013, there were 813 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in Australia. In 2017, it is estimated that 912 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in Australia.

In 2013, the age–standardised incidence rate was 6.8 cases per 100,000 females. In 2017, it is estimated that the age–standardised incidence rate will be 7.1 cases per 100,000 females. The incidence rate for cervical cancer is expected to be highest for age group 35–39, followed by age groups 40–44 and 85+ (Figure 1).

In 2017, it is estimated that the risk of a female being diagnosed with cervical cancer by her 85th birthday will be 1 in 166.

The number of new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed decreased from 965 in 1982 to 813 in 2013. Over the same period, the age–standardised incidence rate decreased from 14 cases per 100,000 females in 1982 to 6.8 cases per 100,000 females in 2013 (Figure 2).

Deaths from cervical cancer

In 2014, cervical cancer was the 20th leading cause of cancer death among females in Australia. It is estimated that it will become the 19th most common cause of death from cancer among females in 2017.

In 2014, there were 223 deaths from cervical cancer in Australia. In 2017, it is estimated that this will increase to 254 deaths.

In 2014, the age–standardised mortality rate was 1.7 deaths per 100,000 females. In 2017, it is estimated that the age–standardised mortality rate will be 1.8 deaths per 100,000 females. The mortality rate for cervical cancer is expected to generally increase with age (Figure 1).

In 2017, it is estimated that the risk of a female dying from cervical cancer by her 85th birthday will be 1 in 480.

The number of deaths from cervical cancer decreased from 378 in 1968 to 223 in 2014. Over the same period, the age–standardised mortality rate decreased from 7.7 deaths per 100,000 females in 1968 to 1.7 deaths per 100,000 females in 2014 (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Estimated age-specific incidence and mortality rates for cervical cancer, females, 2017

This line chart presents the estimated age-specific incidence (solid line) and mortality (dashed line) rates of cervical cancer for females in 2017. The age-specific incidence and mortality rates are shown on the primary (left) y-axis, with 5-year age groups from ages 0–4 to 85+ shown on the x-axis.

Source: AIHW [1].

Figure 2: Age-standardised incidence rates for cervical cancer 1982–2013 and age-standardised mortality rates for cervical cancer 1968–2014, females

This line chart presents the estimated age-standardised incidence (solid line) and mortality (dashed line) rates (per 100,000) of cervical cancer for females over the period 1982–2013 for incidence and 1968–2014 for mortality. The age standardised incidence and mortality rates, expressed per 100,000 persons, are shown on the primary (left) y-axis. Years from 1968 to 2014 are presented on the x-axis.

Source: AIHW [2].

Survival from cervical cancer

In 2009–2013, females diagnosed with cervical cancer had a 72% chance of surviving for 5 years compared to their counterparts in the general Australian population.

Between 1984–1988 and 2009–2013, 5–year relative survival from cervical cancer improved from 69% to 72% (Figure 3).

Figure 3: 5-year relative survival from cervical cancer, 1984–1988 to 2009–2013

This line chart presents 5-year relative survival at diagnosis for cervical cancer in females over the period 1984–1988 to 2009–2013. The percentage of survival is presented on the y axis.

Source: AIHW [1].

Survivorship population for cervical cancer

The survivorship population is measured using prevalence data. Prevalence refers to the number of people alive who have previously been diagnosed with cervical cancer.

The prevalence for 1, 5 and 31 years given below are the number of people living with cervical cancer at the end of 2012 who had been diagnosed in the preceding 1, 5 and 31 years respectively.

At the end of 2012, there were 797 females living who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer that year, 3,165 females who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer in the previous 5 years (from 2008 to 2012) and 15,604 females who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer in the previous 31 years (from 1982 to 2012).


Data notes

International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems Version 10 (ICD–10)

Cancer is classified by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems Version 10 (ICD–10). This is a statistical classification, published by the World Health Organization, in which each morbid condition is assigned a unique code according to established criteria.

Estimations

Future estimations for incidence and mortality are a mathematical extrapolation of past trends. They assume that the most recent trends will continue into the future, and are intended to illustrate future changes that might reasonably be expected to occur if the stated assumptions continue to apply over the estimated period. Actual future cancer incidence and mortality rates may vary from these estimations. For instance, new screening programs may increase the detection of new cancer cases; new vaccination programs may decrease the risk of developing cancer; and improvements in treatment options may decrease mortality rates.

Incidence

Cancer incidence indicates the number of new cancers diagnosed during a specified time period (usually one year).

The 2013 national incidence counts include estimates for NSW because the actual data were not available. Note that actual data for the Australian Capital Territory do not include cases identified from death certificates.

The 2017 estimates are based on 2004–13 incidence data. Due to rounding of these estimates, male and female incidence may not sum to person incidence.

Mortality

Cancer mortality refers to the number of deaths occurring during a specified time period (usually one year) for which the underlying cause of death is cancer.

The 2017 estimates are based on mortality data up to 2013. Joinpoint analysis was used on the longest time series of age–standardised rates available to determine the starting year of the most recent trend.

Prevalence

Prevalence of cancer refers to the number of people alive with a prior diagnosis of cancer at a given time. It is distinct from incidence, which is the number of new cancers diagnosed within a given period of time. The longest period for which it is possible to calculate prevalence using the available national data (from 1982 to 2012) is currently 31 years so this is used to provide an estimate of the ‘total’ prevalence of cancer as at the end of 2012, noting that people diagnosed with cancer before 1982 aren’t included.

Age standardised rates

Incidence and mortality rates expressed per 100,000 population are age–standardised to the Australian population as at 30 June 2001.


References

1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) books: Cervical cancer. Canberra: AIHW. www.aihw.gov.au/acim–books [Accessed February 2017].

2. AIHW 2017. Cancer in Australia 2017. Cancer series no. 101. Cat. No. CAN 100. Canberra: AIHW.