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Understanding cancer

Find out more about cancer and the impact it has on NSW.

Cancer impacts the lives of many people in New South Wales – people living with a cancer diagnosis, caring for a loved one, or searching for a cure.

In 2014, 42,379 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in NSW and 14,114 died from the disease.

Cancer is now the largest burden of disease in Australia, surpassing cardiovascular disease.

On average, one in two people in NSW will be diagnosed with a form of cancer by the age of 85.

The experience of having cancer is not the same for everyone; cancers can start almost anywhere in the body and most cancers are not caused by a single event.

Understanding cancer can help people to reduce their risk, approach their own diagnosis with confidence, or support other people living with the cancer.

Find data and information about how different cancers impact on the people of NSW. Cancer in NSW impacts people living with a cancer diagnosis, caring for a loved one, or searching for a cure.

Older lady sitting outdoors.

Cancer is not a single disease—there are more than 200 types of cancers. Find out how they can be different and what that means.

Women talking together about screening results

Most cancers are not caused by a single event. There are usually a range of things that happen over time to create abnormal cells in the body and lead to cancer.

Doctor seeing patient

As cancers grow or spread they cause changes in the body, and these can cause symptoms. Find out what to look for and know when to see your doctor.

Doctor discussing the different stages of cancer with man

The stage of a cancer describes how far it has grown and spread at the time it is diagnosed. These are often reported as Stage 0 to Stage 4 cancer. Knowing the stage of a cancer is important as it helps doctors to work out the best treatment options.

TIPS: four ways to improve your cancer care

Four ways to improve your cancer care - What to discuss with your doctor about your cancer treatment and care.

See how far we've come in treating, detecting and reducing cancers worldwide.