Rapid Fire Session 2014 World Cancer Congress

Changes in Australian incidence and mortality from 1987-2007: Sharing the news  (#514)

Eleonora Feletto 1 , Yvonne Gallacher 1 , Freddy Sitas 1 2 3
  1. Cancer Council NSW, Woolloomooloo, NSW, Australia
  2. School of Public Health , University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  3. School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of NSW, Sydney, NSW

Background and Context:

 In late 2011 we were confronted by the array of information giving the impression that investments in cancer were failing. Cancer is fast becoming the largest burden of disease globally and the need for simple measures to explain the extent of change to stakeholders is increasing.


 Our aim was to provide simple summary measures of changes in cancer mortality and incidence in Australia. The State of Cancer Control report was designed to be a Cancer Council NSW resource for prioritisation, and public communications.


 We used national data on cancer deaths and new cancer cases and compared expected and observed numbers of deaths and cases diagnosed in 2007, compared to 1987 in people aged less than 75 years.

Programme Process:

The first release was aligned with a national campaign (May 2013) focusing on 61,000 cancer deaths found to be averted and a 28% reduction in cancer mortality over twenty years. We worked closely with national and state Cancer Councils to maximise exposure. The second release focused on the 276% increase in prostate cancer incidence (November 2013) and was not aligned with a national campaign.

Costs and returns:

 The major costs incurred were in staff time spent on data analysis, preparing the report and media release, pitching and managing the media interest. There was no paid advertising or editorial spend for either release. The returns were: 

First Release

Second Release

Media hits



Households reached



Audience impressions



Value ($AUD)



Outcomes/What was learned:

Releasing our research findings in stages, and in collaboration with other Cancer Councils, gave us more media coverage than a one release. The report had many interesting news angles that were beneficial in increasing awareness and highlighting the contribution cancer control investment has made over the last few decades.