New data has revealed a significant decline in cancer mortality rates among Queenslanders.
The Queensland Cancer Register said there was a 27 per cent decrease in cancer death rates from 1994 to 2020 – resulting in almost 37,000 fewer deaths.
Significantly, death due to melanoma has decreased by 41 per cent.
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The state-wide decline particularly noted in the last five years was attributed to significant progress in cancer treatments (specifically in immunotherapy), the efforts of committed healthcare providers, investments in prevention initiatives, and enhanced diagnostics using genomic sequencing.
“A decline in cancer related deaths offers hope and optimism to the thousands of individuals and families affected by the disease here in Queensland,” Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said.
“This is a credit to the commitment of clinicians who treat cancer, our advancements in research and medical technology, as well as our investments in prevention programs.”
Despite the promising data, cancer remains the second leading cause of death in Queensland, after heart disease.
Opportunities have been noted to enhance health behaviours among Queenslanders to sustain the decreasing trend in cancer-related mortality rates – which includes mitigating vaping and reducing time exposed to the sun.
“Despite this progress, we know that emerging activities like vaping and continued exposure to the sun pose a risk to increasing cancer rates,” Ms Fentiman said.
“These concerns are why the Palaszczuk Government is building a $750 million, 150-bed Queensland Cancer Centre, to make sure we’re prepared as our state grows.”
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