Liver cancer in Australia statistics

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The following material has been sourced from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Liver cancer incorporates ICD-10 cancer code C22 (Malignant neoplasm of liver and intrahepatic bile ducts).


Estimated number of new cases of liver cancer diagnosed in 2023

3,048 = male icon2,206 males + female icon842 females


Estimated % of all new cancer cases diagnosed in 2023

1.9%


Estimated number of deaths from liver cancer in 2023

2,545 = male icon1,674 males + female icon871 females


Estimated % of all deaths from cancer in 2023

5.0%


Chance of surviving at least 5 years (2015–2019)

23.0%


People living with liver cancer at the end of 2018 (diagnosed in the 5 year period 2014 to 2018)

4,332


New cases 

In 2019, there were 2,416 new cases of liver cancer diagnosed in Australia (1,713 males and 703 females). In 2023, it is estimated that 3,048 new cases of liver cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (2,206 males and 842 females). In 2023, it is estimated that a person has a 1 in 103 (or 1.0%) risk of being diagnosed with liver cancer by the age of 85 (1 in 71 or 1.4% for males and 1 in 188 or 0.53% for females).

Figure 1. Estimated cancer incidence in Australia, 2023

Figure 1. Estimated cancer incidence in Australia, 2023

Notes

In 2019, the age-standardised incidence rate was 10 cases per 100,000 persons (15 for males and 5.6 for females). In 2023, it is estimated that the age-standardised incidence rate will be 12 cases per 100,000 persons (18 for males and 6.0 for females). The incidence rate for liver cancer is expected to increase with age, highest for those aged 85–89 years.

Figure 2. Age-standardised incidence rates for liver cancer cancer, 1982 to 2019, by sex

Figure 2. Age-standardised incidence rates for liver cancer cancer, 1982 to 2019, by sex

Notes

  • Data sourced from AIHW Cancer Data in Australia 2023 web report and supplementary data tables 
  • Age standardised rates are standardised to the 2023 Australian Standard Population

The number of new cases of liver cancer diagnosed increased from 228 (167 males and 61 females) in 1982 to 2,416 in 2019. Over the same period, the age-standardised incidence rate increased from 2.2 cases per 100,000 persons (3.6 for males and 1.1 for females) in 1982 to 10.1 cases per 100,000 in 2019.

Deaths

In 2021, liver cancer was the seventh most common cause of cancer death in Australia. It is estimated that it will become the sixth most common cause of death from cancer in 2023.

In 2021, there were 2,290 deaths from liver cancer in Australia (1,471 males and 819 females). In 2023, it is estimated that there will be 2,545 deaths (1,674 males and 871 females). In 2023, it is estimated that a person has a 1 in 122 (or 0.82%) risk of dying from liver cancer by the age of 85 (1 in 91 or 1.1% for males and 1 in 188 or 0.53% for females).

Figure 3. Estimated cancer mortality in Australia, 2023

Figure 3. Estimated cancer mortality in Australia, 2023

Notes

In 2021, the age-standardised mortality rate was 9.2 deaths per 100,000 persons (13 for males and 6.1 for females). In 2023, it is estimated that the age-standardised mortality rate will be 9.7 deaths per 100,000 persons (14 for males and 6.2 for females). The mortality rate for liver cancer is expected to increase with age.

Figure 4. Age-standardised mortality rates for liver cancer cancer, 1982 to 2021, by sex

Figure 4. Age-standardised mortality rates for liver cancer cancer, 1982 to 2021, by sex

Notes

  • Data sourced from AIHW Cancer Data in Australia 2023 web report and supplementary data tables
  • Age standardised rates are standardised to the 2023 Australian Standard Population
  • More information about mortality rates for liver cancer over time, by age, sex, Indigenous status, remoteness, and socioeconomic status (SES) can be found on the NCCI website in the ‘Cancer mortality’ section (https://ncci.canceraustralia.gov.au/outcomes/cancer-mortality/cancer-mortality)

The number of deaths from liver cancer increased from 282 (185 males and 97 females) in 1982 to 2,290 persons in 2021. Over the same period, the age-standardised mortality rate increased from 2.9 deaths per 100,000 persons (4.2 for males and 1.9 for females) in 1982 to 9.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2021. 

Survival

In 2015–2019, individuals diagnosed with liver cancer had a 23% chance (23% for males and 22% for females) of surviving for five years compared to their counterparts in the general Australian population. Between 1990–1994 and 2015–2019, five-year relative survival for liver cancer increased from 7.6% to 23%. 

Figure 5. 5-year relative survival for liver cancer, 1990–1994 to 2015–2019, by sex

Figure 5. 5-year relative survival for liver cancer, 1990–1994 to 2015–2019, by sex

Notes

Prevalence

At the end of 2018, there were 1,531 people living who had been diagnosed with liver cancer that year, 4,332 people living who had been diagnosed with liver cancer in the previous 5 years (from 2014 to 2018) and 6,537 people living who had been diagnosed with liver cancer in the previous 37 years (from 1982 to 2018).

For more information, see Liver cancer on the NCCI website

The National Cancer Control Indicators (NCCI) are a set of indicators across the continuum of cancer care, from Prevention and Screening through to Diagnosis, Treatment, Psychosocial care, Research and Outcomes. The NCCI website allows users to see visual representations of data on each indicator through interactive charts