Notes on the data: Premature mortality by selected cause - 0 to 74 years

Deaths from lung cancer, persons aged 0 to 74 years, 2010 to 2014


Policy context:  Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia and represents the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer [1]. In 2010, there were 8,099 deaths from lung cancer [2]. In 2012, it was estimated that 11,280 cases of lung cancer would be diagnosed [2]. While the incidence rate for lung cancer in men has been decreasing, there has been a marked increase in the incidence rate in females. Similarly, while five-year relative survival from lung cancer has increased for both sexes, survival from this disease remains low. The different pattern of incidence rates in males and females reflect historical differences in smoking behaviour [1].

In Australia, tobacco smoking is the largest single cause of lung cancer, responsible for about 90% of lung cancers in males and 65% in females. The risk of lung cancer among smokers is strongly related to duration of smoking and the number of cigarettes smoked [1]. Exposure to second-hand smoke (also known as passive smoking) is also a cause of lung cancer. Other potential causes include radon gas, exposure to industrial and chemical carcinogens, air pollution, family history of lung cancer and previous lung diseases [1].


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Lung cancer - an overview. (AIHW Cat. no. CAN 58.) Canberra: AIHW; 2011.
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) & Australasian Association of Cancer Registries (AACR). Cancer in Australia 2010: an overview. Cancer series no. 60. (AIHW Cat. no. CAN 56). Canberra: AIHW; 2010.

Notes:  International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes: C33, C34

For deaths data released since 2007, the ABS has applied a staged approach to the coding of cause of death which affects the number of records available for release at any date. In each release, the latest year’s data is preliminary, the second latest is revised and the data for the remaining years is final.For further information about the ABS revisions process see the following and related sites:


Numerator:  Deaths from lung cancer at ages 0 to 74 years


Denominator:  Population aged 0 to 74 years


Detail of analysis:  Average annual indirectly age-standardised rate per 100,000 population (aged 0 to 74 years); and/or indirectly age-standardised ratio, based on the Australian standard.


Source:  Data compiled by PHIDU from deaths data based on the 2010 to 2014 Cause of Death Unit Record Files supplied by the Australian Coordinating Registry and the Victorian Department of Justice, on behalf of the Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages and the National Coronial Information System. The population is the ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for Australia, 30 June 2010 to 30 June 2014.


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