Making the law work better for people affected by cancer

Cancer in Victoria: A Snapshot

Cancer incidence is increasing

Cancer is a leading cause of disease in Victoria with 80 new diagnoses (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers) and 30 deaths from cancer every day. A total of 29,387 Victorians were diagnosed and 10,780 died from cancer in 2012. One in three Victorian women and one in two Victorian men will be diagnosed with some form of cancer before the age of 75. It is estimated that by 2023-2027 the average annual incidence of cancer will reach more than 44,000, an increase of 53 per cent from 2008-2012. During the same period, deaths from cancer are projected to increase to more than 13,000 per year.

Cancer survival rates are increasing

Survival rates for some cancers are increasing, meaning more people are living longer after a cancer diagnosis. Though cancer incidence rates continue to increase (annual percentage increases of 0.8 per cent for men and 0.6 per cent for women), death rates have declined steadily since 1982 with average falls of 1.5 per cent per year for males and 1.2 per cent for females. This reflects earlier detection through screening, falling tobacco-related cancer rates for males and improvements in treatment and outcome. During the period 1986-2010, five-year survival increased from 47 per cent to 65 per cent.

The McCabe Centre and Cancer Council Victoria, with support from the Legal Services Board of Victoria, are working on a project examining the laws and policies that impact on Victorians diagnosed with cancer, their families and health professionals.

Key focus areas of the project include:

Download our 20152014 or 2013 report.

If you would like to receive updates about this project, please email to with the subject line ‘Subscribe treatment and support'.

Legal Services Board. Funded through the Legal Services Board Grants Program.