Where you live can have an impact on your chances of falling victim to cancer, according to the latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The AIHW data presents the latest figures on cancer incidence and mortality across Australia, with some surprising findings.
The incidence of all cancers combined across Australia averaged 544.8 people per 100,000. The place in Australia with the lowest incidence of cancer was the Northern Territory, with 305.5 people per 100,000 suffering from some form of the disease. The Northern Territory also had the lowest mortality rate from cancer across Australia (118.2 deaths per 100,000 people).
The region with the highest incidence of cancer was the north coast of NSW, with 778.7 people per 100,000. The NSW north coast also had the highest mortality rate from cancer across Australia (298.5 deaths per 100,000 people).
The data also separates the figures for six selected cancers (female breast cancer, bowel cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, melanoma of the skin, and prostate cancer).
The incidence of female breast cancer for those aged 50-69 was highest in northern Sydney (348.6 people per 100,000) and lowest in the Northern Territory (265.5 people per 100,000).
The incidence of bowel (colorectal) cancer for those aged 50-74 was highest in Tasmania (171.2 people per 100,000) and lowest in central and eastern Sydney (121 people per 100,000).
While cancer in the Northern Territory is among the lowest in the country, it does have the highest rate of cervical cancer (11.9 people per 100,000). Eastern Melbourne has the lowest incidence of cervical cancer (4.8 people per 100,000).
Western Queensland has the highest incidence of lung cancer (61.4 cases per 100,000 people), while the ACT has the lowest (30.7 cases per 100,000 people).
Not surprisingly, the warmest regions in Australia dominate the list of places where skin cancer is most prevalent. Top of the list is the NSW north coast (89.7 cases per 100,000 people), with the Gold Coast not far behind (76.4 cases per 100,000 people). Melbourne’s north west had the lowest incidence of skin cancer across Australia (25.5 cases per 100,000 people).
Look over the AIHW data. How does your region rate for its cancer risk?