Department of Health

Cancer is a leading contributor to the burden of disease in Victoria. There are 95 new diagnoses each day (or one every 15 minutes) in our state. In 2017, 34,557 Victorians were diagnosed with cancer (Cancer Council Victoria 2018).

Since 1982, cancer incidence has steadily increased, with annual rate increases of 0.6 per cent for both men and women (Cancer Council Victoria 2018). .

While the increase in cancer rates is small, the growth and ageing of the Victorian population result in a much larger annual increase (3 per cent) in actual numbers of cancers diagnosed (Cancer Council Victoria 2018).

Nearly half (46 per cent) of cancers diagnosed are in Victorians aged over 70 years, and less than 2 per cent are in those people aged under 30 years (Cancer Council Victoria 2018).

The five most common cancers in Victoria are prostate, breast, bowel, melanoma and lung, collectively accounting for 57 per cent of all new cancers and 46 per cent of cancer deaths (Cancer Council Victoria 2018).

While an average of 30 people die from cancer every day in Victoria, death rates continue to decline. Since 1982, annual decreases of 1.6 per cent for males and 1.2 per cent for females have been recorded.

These reductions reflect earlier detection of cancers through screening, reductions in tobacco use – especially in males – and improvements in treatment.

Overall, from 1982 to 2016, five-year survival rates for cancer increased from 46 per cent to 68 per cent (Cancer Council Victoria 2018).

Find out more

Access the Cancer Council Victoria statistics and data websiteExternal Link .

The Victorian Population Health Survey 2016 has a section on cancer.

For more information about melanoma in Victoria, Cancer in Victoria: Statistics and Trends (PDF)External Link on the Cancer Council Victoria website.

For more information about non-melanoma skin cancer in Victoria, please see the non-melanoma skin cancer article Cancer in Victoria: Statistics and Trends (PDF)External Link on the Cancer Council Victoria website.


Cancer Council Victoria 2018 Cancer in Victoria: Statistics and Trends (PDFExternal Link Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne.

Reviewed 10 March 2023

Your health: Report of the Chief Health Officer, Victoria, 2018

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