Australia’s 5-year relative survival rate from bowel cancer has increased 9% from 60% in 1998–2000 to 69% in 2009–2011, placing Australia above the OECD average (62%), according to a new report* released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
For Australian males, rates increased from 59% to 68%, and for Australian females rates improved from 61% to 70% over the same period.
Bowel Cancer Australia CEO Julien Wiggins welcomed the news, saying bowel cancer survival rates were heading in the right direction but indicated there was still a long way to go given they continue to lag behind those of other common cancers, such as breast, prostate and melanoma.
“Short of the discovery of a cure, our goal is for bowel cancer 5-year relative survival rates to improve beyond 90%. We are optimistic that - collectively - increased screening participation, improved access to timely colonoscopy and surgery, and affordable precision medicines based on biomarker status, will positively impact survival as well as improve the quality of life for people living with bowel cancer," Mr Wiggins said.
"Bowel Cancer Australia has long advocated for improvements across the continuum of care. We continue to provide practical prevention, early detection and support programs as well as fund research, ensuring that our work makes real change happen."
*Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Health-care Quality Indicators for Australia