Dermatologist examines a mole of male patient
Dermatologist examines a mole of male patient AlexRaths

Valley's cancer mortality rate explained

A NEW REPORT into cancer rates across Australia has found the Clarence Valley is above the national average in the number of deaths caused by cancers.

Published by The Conversation, the research allows readers to search for their postcode to find out how their community sits in comparison to the national average for cancer deaths and diagnosis.

The data comes from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report.

The Clarence Valley is 1.09 times the national average, with 187.8 cases per 100,000 people.

The data broken down into five types; colorectal cancer, breast caner, lung cancer, melanoma and prostate cancer.

At 1.23 times the national average, lung cancer has the highest morality rate in the Clarence Valley for the 2460 postcode.

The study found that cancer rates are declining overall, but the incidence rate of cancer has increased by just over a quarter since 1982. However, the morality rate has fallen in the same period.

In the Clarence Valley, melanoma trumps lung cancer for the number of diagnoses at 1.94 times the national average.

Using postcodes, the study has found the highest and lowest rates of cancer across the country, with the highest rates in the Northern Territory and Queensland.

The study found the highest mortality rate came from areas of low socio-economic status.

The AIHW reports that the morality rate of all cancers is higher for indigenous Australians.

Professor Dallas English from Cancer Council Victoria told The Conversation there are some differences in cancer rates across the country due to random variations, but there are also some trends.

"Let's take melanoma, for example. The map shows that if you live in Queensland and northern NSW, the rates are much higher than for people who live in the south, in places like Tasmania and Victoria," he said.

"If you look at lung cancer on this map, you are basically looking at a map of smoking prevalence around Australia. If you go to the top end - places like Tiwi, West Arnhem - it's very high because of high smoking rates there."

To search for your postcode, click here.

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