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Oceania, a region that includes developed and transitioning economies, had an estimated 155,000 new cancers and 60,000 cancer deaths in 2012, with over 92% of the new cases and 87% of the deaths occurring in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). The remaining cases and deaths occurred in the French Pacific (French Polynesia and New Caledonia) and the rest of Oceania (Papua New Guinea and many small island states), which are sparsely populated.

Oceania, a region that includes developed and transitioning economies, had 155,000 new cancers and 59,663 cancer deaths in 2012.

The leading five cancers are prostate, colorectal, breast, melanoma, and lung in ANZ; prostate, breast, lung, colorectal, and thyroid in the French Pacific; and breast, cervix, oral cavity, liver, and lung in the rest of Oceania. These patterns are driven by variation in exposure to risk factors and in access to health services.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death within Oceania. Since the 1980s, lung cancer mortality among men has declined in Australia because of substantial declines in the prevalence of smoking. In contrast, rates continue to increase among women because of the lag in smoking reduction.

Incidence rates of breast cancer in ANZ are up to four times higher than in other countries in Oceania because of reproductive factors and mammography utilization. In contrast, cervix and liver cancers are more common in areas of Oceania other than ANZ. These cancers are linked to a high prevalence of human papillomavirus and hepatitis B infections. Organized screening for cervix cancer in Australia has achieved a decline in incidence.

Melanoma varies 35-fold, with ANZ rates around 35 per 100,000. ANZ has the highest incidence globally due to people of European descent being exposed to high levels of solar radiation. Within Australia, incidence varies with latitude.

 

The three sub-regions of Oceania vary markedly in risk factors and treatment availability, resulting in diverse cancer profiles.

Estimated total cancer cases and contribution (%) of top 5 cancer sites by subregion, both sexes, 2012

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Text alternative: Estimated total cancer cases and contribution (%) of Top 5 cancer sites by subregion, both sexes, 2012 Charts showing that the three sub-regions of Oceania vary markedly in risk factors and treatment availability, resulting in diverse cancer profiles Download High Res