We’re often referred to as the lucky country. But in damning new research, in this statistic, we can count ourselves unlucky.
According to a new study published by the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), one in two Australian men will be diagnosed with a form of cancer in their lifetime.
It’s estimated that in 2018 there will be 197,876 new cases of cancer in Australia, 120,034 in men.
Most alarmingly, before the age of 75, Australian men have a 49.58 per cent chance of developing a form of cancer. Women, less likely, with a 33.36 per cent chance.
Shockingly, that’s more than twice the global average – 22 per cent.
The most common type of cancer for Australians is non-melanoma skin cancer (58,278 new cases in 2018). However, the death rate was only 1.79 per cent in 2018.
“Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world and that gets the numbers up,” said Cancer Council Australia chief executive Sanchia Aranda.
“In addition, Australia has declining rates of heart disease and stroke and our life expectancy is amongst the highest in the world and cancer is a disease of the ageing.”
Despite the low death rate, skin cancer still carries a big financial burden.
“Non-melanoma skin cancer costs the Australian government about a billion dollars a year in healthcare costs, it’s one of the most expensive cancers because of the sheer volume of it,” she adds.
“It’s never too late to protect your skin from the sun and we encourage all Australian’s to be aware that it’s UV not heat so take note of the UV levels on any given day and avoid prolonged periods out in the sun.”
As always, it’s best to consult with a GP if you feel you’re at risk.