Lung cancer in Australia statistics

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

Lung cancer incorporates ICD-10 cancer codes C33 (Malignant neoplasm of trachea) and C34 (Malignant neoplasm of bronchus and lung).


Estimated number of new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in 2023

14,782 = Male icon PNG7,696 males + Female icon PNG7,086 females


Estimated % of all new cancer cases diagnosed in 2023

9.0%


Estimated number of deaths from lung cancer in 2023

8,691 = Male icon PNG4,847 males + Female icon PNG3,844 females


Estimated % of all deaths from cancer in 2023

17.0%


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

24%


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

23,169


New cases 

Lung cancer was the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia in 2019. It is estimated that it will remain the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2023.

In 2019, there were 13,140 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in Australia (7,261 males and 5,879 females). In 2023, it is estimated that 14,782 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (7,696 males and 7,086 females). In 2023, it is estimated that a person has a 1 in 20 (or 5.0%) risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer by the age of 85 (1 in 19 or 5.2% for males and 1 in 21 or 4.8% for females).

Figure 1. Estimated cancer incidence in Australia, 2023.png

Figure 1. Estimated cancer incidence in Australia, 2023

Notes

In 2019, the age-standardised incidence rate was 56 cases per 100,000 persons (66 for males and 47 for females). In 2023, it is estimated that the age-standardised incidence rate will be 56 cases per 100,000 persons (62 for males and 51 for females). The incidence rate for lung cancer is expected to increase with age, highest for those aged 80–84 years.

Figure 2. Age-standardised incidence rates for melanoma of the skin cancer, 1982 to 2019, by sex

Figure 2. Age-standardised incidence rates for lung 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
  • More information about incidence rates for lung cancer over time, by age, sex, Indigenous status, remoteness, and socioeconomic status (SES) can be found on the NCCI website in the ‘Cancer incidence’ section (https://ncci.canceraustralia.gov.au/diagnosis/cancer-incidence/cancer-incidence)

The number of new cases of lung cancer diagnosed increased from 5,947 (4,687 males and 1,260 females) in 1982 to 13,140 in 2019. Over the same period, the age-standardised incidence rate increased from 60 cases per 100,000 persons (110 for males and 23 for females) in 1982 to 56 cases per 100,000 in 2019.

Deaths

In 2021, lung cancer was the most common cause of cancer death in Australia. It is estimated that it will remain the most common cause of death from cancer in 2023.

In 2021, there were 8,674 deaths from lung cancer in Australia (4,968 males and 3,706 females). In 2023, it is estimated that there will be 8,691 deaths (4,847 males and 3,844 females). In 2023, it is estimated that a person has a 1 in 35 (or 2.8%) risk of dying from lung cancer by the age of 85 (1 in 32 or 3.1% for males and 1 in 40 or 2.5% 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 35 deaths per 100,000 persons (43 for males and 28 for females). In 2023, it is estimated that the age-standardised mortality rate will be 33 deaths per 100,000 persons (40 for males and 27 for females). The mortality rate for lung cancer is expected to increase with age.

Figure 4. Age-standardised mortality rates for melanoma of the skin cancer, 1982 to 2021, by sex

Figure 4. Age-standardised mortality rates for lung 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 lung 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 lung cancer increased from 5,288 (4,227 males and 1,061 females) in 1982 to 8,674 persons in 2021. Over the same period, the age-standardised mortality rate decreased from 55 deaths per 100,000 persons (103 for males and 20 for females) in 1982 to 35 deaths per 100,000 in 2021. 

Survival

In 2015–2019, individuals diagnosed with lung cancer had a 24% chance (20% for males and 29% 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 lung cancer increased from 10% to 24%. 

Figure 5. 5-year relative survival for melanoma of the skin, 1990–1994 to 2015–2019, by sex

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

Notes

Prevalence

At the end of 2018, there were 8,747 people living who had been diagnosed with lung cancer that year, 23,169 people living who had been diagnosed with lung cancer in the previous 5 years (from 2014 to 2018) and 36,491 people living who had been diagnosed with lung cancer in the previous 37 years (from 1982 to 2018).

For more information, see Lung 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.