Cancer is the largest cause of disease burden in Australia. Our report compares and analyses cancer mortality in Australia in 2007 with baseline data from 1987, a time when several cancer control programs were in their infancy. It tracks improvements in mortality by cancer type, as well as the relative lack of progress for some forms of cancer.
Overall, 7,827 (28%) fewer deaths occurred in 2007 than would have been expected based on 1987 rates (20,104 observed vs. 27,931 expected), and over the full period from 1987 to 2007, there were 61,190 fewer deaths than expected, had the cancer death rate in 1987 remained constant. Our research explores cancer outcomes over the past 20 years, using reductions in mortality over that time as a key indicator of success and as a guide to where sustained and greater effort is required to ensure future advances.