Statistics and Indicators

Lung cancer – incidence and mortality

  • ​Lung cancer is the fourth most common cancer in both males and females in the ACT. It is the most common cause of death from cancer in males and the second most common cause of death from cancer in females.
  • In 2015 there were 108 new cases diagnosed in ACT residents (55% in males and 45% in females). The age-standardised incidence rate in 2015 was 28.2 cases per 100,000 people (33.6 for males and 24.2 for females) compared to 42.9 per 100,000 people for Australia in 2014 (53.3 for males and 34.4 for females).1
  • The decline in lung cancer rates over time clearly illustrates the effect of reducing a modifiable risk. Lung cancer incidence in males has significantly decreased. However, the picture for females is quite different, with a small increase that is approaching statistical significance. The difference reflects historical differences in smoking behaviour. While not all lung cancers are caused by smoking, it is the most important risk behaviour.
  • In 2014, 86 people (58% males and 42% females) who lived in the ACT at the time of their lung cancer diagnosis, died from lung cancer. In 2014 the age-standardised mortality rate for the ACT was 24.3 deaths per 100,000 people (31.8 for males and 18.8 for females) compared to 30.5 deaths per 100,000 people for Australia in 2014 (39.7 for males and 23.1 for females).1
  • Five-year relative survival for lung cancer has improved over time from 12% in the period 1983–1992 to 19% for the period 2003–2012. Despite the improvement, lung cancer remains a major cause of cancer mortality. Treatment remains difficult, though recently outcomes of treatments for advanced lung cancer have shown significant progress.


1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2017). Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) books (Excel spreadsheet). https://www.aihw.

To access the data please click on the "View source data" link at the bottom of the visualisation. This link will open up a data table that you can download.