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Prostate cancer in Australia

Prostate cancer incorporates ICD-10 cancer code C61 (Malignant neoplasm of prostate).


Estimated number of new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in 2017

male icon 16,665 males


prostate cancer % of all new cancer cases PNG

Estimated % of all new male cancer cases diagnosed in 2017

23.1%


Estimated number of deaths from prostate cancer in 2017

male icon 3,452 males


prostate cancer % deaths PNG

Estimated % of all male deaths from cancer in 2017

12.7%


95-in-100

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

95%


Lots of people PNG

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

94,114


New cases of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia in 2013. In 2013, it was also the most commonly diagnosed cancer among males. It is estimated to become the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2017, while remaining the most commonly diagnosed cancer among males (Table 1).

In 2013, there were 19,233 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in Australia. In 2017, it is estimated that 16,665 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in Australia.

In 2013, the age–standardised incidence rate was 151 cases per 100,000 males. In 2017, it is estimated that the age–standardised incidence rate will be 115 cases per 100,000 males. The incidence rate of prostate cancer among males will increase from age group 35–39 until age group 65–69. It will then decrease until age group 80–84 before increasing for males aged 85+ (Figure 1).

In 2017, it is estimated that the risk of a male being diagnosed with prostate cancer by his 85th birthday will be 1 in 7.

The number of new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed increased from 3,607 in 1982 to 19,233 in 2013. Over the same period, the age–standardised incidence rate increased from 80 cases per 100,000 males in 1982 to 151 cases per 100,000 males in 2013 (Figure 2).

Table 1: Estimated most common cancers diagnosed in 2017
Cancer type New cases 2017 % of all new cancers 2017
Breast 17,730 13.2
Breast (among females) 17,586 28.4
Colorectal (bowel) 16,682 12.4
Prostate (among males) 16,665 23.1
Melanoma 13,941 10.4
Lung 12,434 9.3

Deaths from prostate cancer

In 2014, prostate cancer was the 3rd most common cause of cancer deaths in Australia. It was also the 2nd most common cause of cancer deaths among males in 2014. It is estimated that it will remain the 3rd most common cause of cancer deaths in Australia and the 2nd most common cause of male cancer deaths in 2017 (Table 2).

In 2014, there were 3,102 deaths from prostate cancer in Australia. In 2017, it is estimated that this will increase to 3,452 deaths.

In 2014, the age–standardised mortality rate was 26 deaths per 100,000 males. In 2017, it is estimated that the age–standardised mortality rate will remain at 26 deaths per 100,000 males. The age-standardised mortality rate from prostate cancer will increase with age from age group 50–54 (Figure 1).

In 2017, it is estimated that the risk of a male dying from prostate cancer by his 85th birthday will be 1 in 30.

The number of deaths from prostate cancer increased from 963 in 1968 to 3,102 in 2014. Over the same period, the age–standardised mortality rate decreased from 36 deaths per 100,000 males in 1968 to 26 deaths per 100,000 males in 2014 (Figure 2).

Table 2: Estimated most common cancers deaths in 2017
Cancer type Number of deaths 2017 % of all cancer deaths 2017
Lung 9,021 18.9
Colorectal (bowel) 4,114 8.6
Prostate (among males) 3,452 12.7
Breast 3,114 6.5
Breast (among females) 3,087 14.9
Pancreatic 2,915 6.1

Figure 1: Estimated age-specific incidence and mortality rates for prostate cancer, males, 2017

This line chart presents the estimated age-specific incidence (solid line) and mortality (dashed line) rates of prostate cancer for males 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 prostate cancer 1982–2013 and age-standardised mortality rates for prostate cancer 1968–2014, males

This line chart presents the estimated age-standardised incidence (solid line) and mortality (dashed line) rates (per 100,000) of prostate cancer for males 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 prostate cancer

In 2009–2013, males diagnosed with prostate cancer had a 95% 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 prostate cancer improved from 58% to 95%.

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

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

Source: AIHW [1].

Survivorship population for prostate cancer

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

The prevalence for 1, 5 and 31 years given below are the number of people living with prostate 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 20,122 males living who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer that year, 94,114 males who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the previous 5 years (from 2008 to 2012) and 191,896 males who had been diagnosed with prostate 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. Australia Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) books: Prostate cancer. Canberra:AIHW. [Accessed February 2017].
  2. AIHW 2017. Cancer in Australia 2017. Cancer series no. 101. Cat. No. CAN 100. Canberra: AIHW.