Prostate cancer sufferer Rob Tonge
Prostate cancer sufferer Rob Tonge Warren Lynam

Our shocking cancer statistics revealed

AROUND 3200 people living on the Sunshine Coast are going to be given the devastating news they have cancer this year - and most of them will be men.

New research by the Cancer Council has also showed around 1000 people will die from the disease, which has continued to increase in prevalence throughout Queensland.

The most common form of cancer is not skin cancer or breast cancer, it is prostate cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said the 2013 data, released this week, showed around 520 local men were diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.

"About 85 are dying from the disease," she said.

This news came as no surprise to Coolum's Rob Tonge of the Sunshine Coast Prostate Cancer Support Group.

Mr Tonge said the group was the "second biggest in the country".

He said the Sunshine Coast's ageing population was a contributing factor to the statistics.

But where breast cancer continues to receive wide prominence with most women knowing to go for their mammogram over the age of 40, some men were still in the dark about the importance of regular check-ups.

"Awareness has improved," Mr  Tonge said.

"It used to be considered 'secret men's business', but this is changing."

He said an annual check for men over the age of 50 was essential in finding the disease while it was not too late.

Ms Clift said melanoma was the second most common cancer in local men, with around 260 new cases diagnosed each year, followed by bowel cancer.

About 390 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and around 65 local women were dying from the disease each year.

"The top five most commonly diagnosed cancers in the region are prostate cancer, melanoma, bowel cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer," she said..

"Lung cancer remains the region's biggest cancer killer, with around 220 locals dying from the disease each year."

The new data reveals one in two Queenslanders will be diagnosed with cancer and one in seven will die from the disease before 80 years of age.

It also showed that in Queensland across all cancer types, the average five-year relative survival rate is 69.9%.

ancer Council urged Sunshine Coast locals to play their part in reducing risks of preventable cancers.

"We all have a role to play in cancer control - to reduce community risks, enable early detection, ensure access to lifesaving treatment, and support the growing number of Queenslanders who are surviving this disease," Ms Clift said.

"Assuming current rates remain stable, by 2021 it is estimated that over 34,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed each year in Queensland, placing an even greater burden on our community and the health system.

"While survival rates are improving, we know that one third of all cancers diagnosed every year can be prevented.

"Sunshine Coast locals should participate in recommended cancer screening, quit smoking, eat healthily, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, stay SunSmart and limit alcohol intake to reduce the risk of preventable cancers."

The 2013 Cancer Research Centre data is available online at

Queenslanders aged 18 and over are encouraged to test their everyday health in Cancer Council's first ever population-based Everyday Health Survey at before February 29, 2016.

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