Cancer incidence, Overview

In 2018, 42 219 people were newly diagnosed with malignant neoplasms in Austria: 22 700 men and 19 519 women. About a quarter of all deaths in 2017 were caused by cancer: 11 058 men and 9 373 women died from cancer. The absolute number of new cancer cases increased between 2008-2018 with 9% in men and with 5% in women. However, the risk of developing cancer as well as the risk of dying from cancer is declining over time.

The long-term incidence trend showed a slightly increased risk of cancer for men until the year 2000 taking into account the change in age structure. The age-adjusted incidence rate of 2018 (570 new cases per 100,000 men) is clearly below those of 2000 (722 per 100 000 men). For women a more stable trend was observed. Their age-standardised incidence rate slightly decreased from 432 per 100 000 women in 2008 to 405 in 2018. Based on age-standardised rates, the risk of being diagnosed with cancer was 1.4 times higher for men than for women in 2018. The most common cancer types diagnosed in 2018 were lung (4 985 cases), colorectal (4 563 cases), female breast (5 565 cases) and prostate cancer (6 018 cases).

Since 1994, the most common type of cancer for men has been prostate cancer with 153 cases per 100 000 (6 018 cases) in 2018. Previously, lung cancer was the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men; the year at which lung cancer was surpassed by prostate cancer varies greatly between provinces. In 2018, 2 925 men were diagnosed with lung cancer (74.7 per 100 000) and 2 569 men with colorectal cancer (67.6 per 100 000). The increased incidence of prostate cancer can be largely attributed to the increased number of preventive medical check-ups and early detection (‘screening effect’). The most common cancer site in women continues to be the breast with 117.2 cases per 100 000 in 2018. Over the past ten years, the age-standardised incidence rate of breast cancer has remained stable. The second malignancy in women is lung cancer followed by colorectal cancer with 2 009 and 2 060 cases in 2018, respectively.

Cancer Incidence (age-standardized rates per year) by tumor site, sex, Austria since 2001

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