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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 2016

Female icon PNG 903 females


cervical cancer % of all new cancer cases PNG

Estimated % of all new female cancer cases diagnosed in 2016

1.5%


Estimated number of deaths from cervical cancer in 2016

Female icon PNG 250 females


cervical cancer % of all new cancer cases PNG

Estimated % of all female deaths from cancer in 2016

1.2%


67 in 100 PNG

Chance of surviving at least 5 years (2008–2012)

72%


Lots of people PNG

Females living with cervical cancer at the end of 2010 (diagnosed in the 5 year period 2006 to 2010)

2,978


How common is cervical cancer in Australia?

In 2012, there were 869 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in Australia.a In 2016, it is estimated that 903 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in Australia.b

In 2012, the age-standardised incidence rate was 7.4 cases per 100,000 females.d In 2016, it is estimated that the age-standardised incidence rate will be 7.0 cases per 100,000 females.

Cervical cancer was the 15th most commonly diagnosed cancer among females in Australia in 2012. It is estimated that it will remain the 15th most commonly diagnosed cancer among females in 2016.

In 2016, it is estimated that the risk of a female being diagnosed with cervical cancer by her 85th birthday will be 1 in 160.

In 2016, it is expected that the incidence rate of cervical cancer is expected to be highest for age group 85+, followed by age groups, 75–79 and 35–39 (see figure below).

Figure 1: Estimated age-specific incidence rates for cervical cancer, 2016

bar graph showing the estimated number of new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in 2016, by five year age groups (0-4 to 85+). The age-specific incidence rate for each five year age group is expressed as the estimated number of new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed per 100,000 females, which is presented on the y-axis. The estimated incidence rate of cervical cancer is highest in age groups 85+ (14.2 cases per 100,000 females), 75-79 (11.8 cases per 100,000 females) and 35-39 (11.7 cases per 100,000 females).

Source: AIHW analysis of the Australian Cancer Database, (see source table 1).

Deaths from cervical cancer

In 2013, there were 224 deaths from cervical cancer in Australia. In 2016, it is estimated that this will increase to 250 deaths.c

In 2013, the age-standardised mortality rate was 1.7 deaths per 100,000 females.d In 2016, it is estimated that the age-standardised mortality rate will be 1.8 deaths per 100,000 females.

In 2013, cervical cancer accounted for the 21st highest number of deaths from cancer among females in Australia. It is estimated that it will become the 22nd most common cause of death from cancer among females in 2016.

In 2016, it is estimated that the risk of a female dying from cervical cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 480.

Incidence

The number of new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed decreased from 965 in 1982 to 869 in 2012.

Over the same period, the age-standardised incidence rate decreased from 14 cases per 100,000 females in 1982 to 7.4 cases per 100,000 females in 2012.

Mortality

The number of deaths from cervical cancer decreased from 378 in 1968 to 224 in 2013.

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 2013.

Figure 2: Age-standardised incidence rates for cervical cancer 1982–2012 and age-standardised mortality rates for cervical cancer 1968–2013

line graph with two lines showing actual incidence and mortality rates for cervical cancer. One line of the graph shows actual incidence rates for cervical cancer from 1982 to 2012. The other line shows actual mortality rates for cervical cancer from 1968 to 2013. The age-standardised incidence and mortality rate for each year is expressed as the number of new cases or number of deaths per 100,000 females and presented on the y-axis. The incidence rate for cervical cancer decreased from 14.2 cases per 100,000 females in 1982 to 7.4 cases per 100,000 females in 2012. The mortality rate for cervical cancer decreased from 7.7 deaths per 100,000 females in 1968 to 1.7 deaths per 100,000 females in 2013.

Note: Incidence rates available for 1982–2012, and mortality rates available for 1968–2013.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare1.

Survival from cervical cancer

In 2008–2012 in Australia, females diagnosed with cervical cancer had a 72% chance of surviving for 5 years compared to their counterparts in the general Australian population.

Between 1983–1987 and 2008–2012, 5-year relative survival from cervical cancer improved from 68% to 72%.

Figure 3: 5-year relative survival from cervical cancer, 1983–1987 to 2008–2012

bar chart showing five year relative survival from cervical cancer in five year periods, starting from 1983-1987 and ending in 2008-2012. The percentage of survival is presented on the y-axis. In 1983-1987, 5 year relative survival was 68.3%. This increased to 71.8% in 2008-2012.

Source: AIHW analysis of the Australian Cancer Database, (see source table 2).

Prevalence of cervical cancer

The prevalence for 1, 5 and 29 years given below are the number of females living with cervical cancer at the end of 2010 who had been diagnosed in the preceding 1, 5 and 29 years respectively.

One year prevalence

At the end of 2010, there were 742 females living who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer that year.

Five year prevalence

At the end of 2010, there were 2,978 females living who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer in the previous 5 years (from 2006 to 2010).

29 year prevalence

At the end of 2010, there were 14,868 females living who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer in the previous 29 years (from 1982 to 2010).


Source tables

Source table 1: Estimated age-specific incidence rates for cervical cancer, 2016
Age group (years) Number of new cases
per 100,000 females
0–4 0.0
5–9 0.0
10–14 0.0
15–19 0.1
20–24 1.6
25–29 9.2
30–34 10.4
35–39 11.7
40–44 10.9
45–49 11.4
50–54 10.0
55–59 9.0
60–64 9.9
65–69 11.1
70–74 10.2
75–79 11.8
80–84 8.3
85+ 14.2
Source table 2: 5-year relative survival from cervical cancer, 1983–1987 to 2008–2012
Year 5-year relative survival (%)
1983–1987 68.3
1988–1992 70.8
1993–1997 72.9
1998–2002 72.5
2003–2007 72.1
2008–2012 71.8

Data notes

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

Cancer, like other health conditions, 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 estimates 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 a variety of factors. 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.

Due to the rounding of these estimates, male and female incidence and mortality may not sum to person incidence and mortality.

Incidence

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

  1. The 2012 national incidence counts include estimates for NSW and the ACT because the actual data were not available.
  2. The 2016 estimates are based on 2002–11 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.

  1. The 2016 estimates are based on 2002–13 mortality data.

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 (see above). The longest period for which it is possible to calculate prevalence using the available national data (from 1982 to 2010) is currently 29 years. This span is used to estimate the 'total' prevalence of cancer at the end of 2010, noting that people diagnosed with cancer before 1982 are not included.

Age standardised rates

  1. 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 2016. Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) books: cervical cancer. Canberra: AIHW. [Accessed January 2016].