How common is cancer?

In NSW, 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with a type of cancer by the age of 85.

There were 42,079 new cases of cancer diagnosed in NSW in 2012*. This is projected to rise to 54,106 by 2021.

Men are 1.3 times more likely than women to be diagnosed with cancer (23,828 men and 18,251 women).

The most common cancers in NSW are prostate, bowel, breast, melanoma and lung. These account for about 61% of all cancers diagnosed.

Advances in prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer mean that many more people are surviving and living longer with cancer. It is estimated that 67.2% of people with cancers in NSW were still alive five years after the cancer was diagnosed.

For statistics on a specific cancer type, see Cancer information.

* incidence data is currently available up until 2012

For more information


The facts and figures on this page were sourced from the Cancer Institute.

View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand

Cancer information

Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends