Notes on the data: Premature mortality by selected cause - 0 to 74 years
Deaths from lung cancer, persons aged 0 to 74 years, 2016 to 2020
Policy context: Lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer death in Australia at all ages in the years 2016 to 2020 and was estimated to represent the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women in 2020 [1,2]. Over this period, there were 42,540 deaths from lung cancer, 24,878 males and 17,662 females at all ages . 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 the five-year relative survival from lung cancer has increased for both sexes, survival from this disease remains low, at 20% (17% for males and 25% for females . The different pattern of incidence rates in males and females reflect historical differences in the take-up of smoking.
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 . 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 .
Age-standardised mortality rates for lung cancer increased from 31.1 per 100,000 population in 1968 to 42.9 per 100,000 population 1989, after which they decreased to 28.1 per 100,000 in 2019 . The trends for males and females differed: the rate for males increased sharply to 1981 and then declined relatively steadily to a rate of 35.6 deaths per 100,000 males in 2019, when it was 64.1% above the female rate (which is the smallest gap); the female rate increased steadily over most of this period, although has declined in recent years, to a low of 21.7 deaths per 100,000 females .
For 2016 to 2020, over half (53.5%) of deaths from lung cancer were premature, with 53.1% for males and 54.0% for females – details here.
- PHIDU (www.phidu.torrens.edu.au), based on 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; 2016-2020.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Cancer. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/cancer; last accessed 18 March 2022.
- Cancer Australia. Lung cancer in Australia statistics. Available from: https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/cancer-types/lung-cancer/statistics; last accessed 18 March 2022.
- 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.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Cancer mortality by age visualisation. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia/contents/cancer-mortality-by-age-visualisation; last accessed 18 March 2022.
Notes: International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes: C33, C34
For deaths data released since 2007, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (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 general, 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: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3303.0Explanatory+Notes12012.
However, data published here are from the following releases: 2016 and 2017, final; 2018, revised; and 2019 and 2020, preliminary.
Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Remoteness Area
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 2016 to 2020 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 2016 to 30 June 2020.