Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Mental Health

    New report reveals WA cancer death rate at all-time low

    13/03/2020 6:00 AM
    • New report highlights strong progress on cancer care for WA patients
    • Report based on data of all WA cancer patients
    • Work needed to improve survival rates for Aboriginal cancer patients 

    Western Australia has recorded its lowest cancer mortality rate in almost 40 years, a new report released today has shown.


    Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Survival in Western Australia 2017 - the latest annual report produced by the WA Cancer Registry - shows that while the State recorded 4,147 deaths due to cancer in 2017 (2,323 males and 1,824 females), for both genders the figure represented the lowest mortality rates since 1983. 


    The report also reveals survival rates have been steadily rising for WA cancer patients, with the relative five-year survival rate for all cancers at 71.7 per cent in the period 2013-2017, up from 69.2 per cent in the previous five-year period (2008-2012) and well above the 60.4 per cent recorded for 1993-1997.


    The WA Cancer Registry is managed by the Department of Health and has been maintaining data on all cancer notifications in Western Australia since 1981.


    The new report highlights significantly poorer survival rates for Aboriginal cancer patients for whom the five-year survival rate was 58.1 per cent compared with 72.9 per cent in the non-Aboriginal population.


    The report also found:

    • that since 2014, rates of new breast cancer cases were among the highest on record but mortality rates over that same period were at their lowest on record;
    • the incidence of lung cancer in males - which has been declining since collection began - was at its lowest on record in 2017 with 47.9 cases per 100,000 males while in females, rates had steadily risen, with incidence since 2015 being among the highest on record, reporting between 31.8 and 36.8 cases per 100,000 females; and
    • rates of melanoma in men, at 7 deaths per 1,000, were at their lowest since 1997 when the rate was 6.7 deaths per 100,000 men. 

    The report confirms the findings of international research, published last year in The Lancet Oncology that revealed survival rates for Western Australian cancer patients were among the best in the developed world.


    The full report can be viewed at https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au


    Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:


    "WA cancer patients should take reassurance from the findings of this report which are a reflection of the McGowan Government's commitment to put patients first and provide high standards of healthcare in the cancer field.


    "While there is still much work to be done to improve cancer survival rates in the Aboriginal community, we can be encouraged by the strong gains being made for the majority of cancers and will work to better our results for indigenous patients.


    "Publication of this report comes on the back of our recently launched WA Cancer Plan, which sets out how we will seek to build on these already significant achievements to enhance cancer care for Western Australians even further.


    "The plan also reinforces the McGowan Government's commitment to establish a long-term strategy for cancer research."


    Minister's office - 6552 6500