Upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancer survival rates and statistics
In 2020, it is estimated there will be approximately 150,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed and less than 50,000 deaths from cancer in Australia, with upper GI cancer making up 8% of diagnosed cancers.
Upper GI cancer is a term for the group of cancers that affect the upper digestive system. They include the pancreas, liver, stomach, bile ducts and oesophagus. They are considered low-survival cancers, resulting in >17% of estimated deaths.
Despite collectively representing a leading cause of cancer deaths in society, upper GI cancers receive very little support or government funding. They have low awareness, in part because of the short life expectancy of patients after diagnosis. There are few survivor groups to advocate on behalf of those impacted by these diseases and no time for the development of patient advocates.
While we are ultimately trying to cure patients through investment into life changing research, a lack of funding and awareness has meant that outcomes haven’t improved for the past 40 years. Those affected by upper GI cancers are still confronted with a low chance of surviving past five years.
The supports, services and funding that exist for more common cancers are lacking for upper GI cancers; pancreatic, liver, stomach, biliary and oesophageal cancers. As a result, access to information, ease of treatment pathways, timely diagnosis and overall survival are compromised.
Pancreatic cancer statistics
- It is estimated that in 2021, 4,261 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (2,213 men and 2,048 women).
- Pancreatic cancer is projected to be the 2nd leading cause of cancer related deaths by 2030.
- Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality of all major cancers with just 11.5% of patients reaching the 5-year survival mark.
- Two thirds of pancreatic cancer patients die within the first year of diagnosis.
- Survival rates for pancreatic cancer have not changed significantly in 40 years.
Due to the lack of research into pancreatic cancer, many treatments and surgeries for the disease are still being trialed. Pancare encourages patients to do their research and seek opinions from several different medical professionals, to ensure the highest chance of survival and recovery.
Liver cancer statistics
- It is estimated that in 2021, 2,832 new cases of liver cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (2,050 men and 782 women).
- Liver cancer has a high mortality rate with just 20.9% of patients reaching the 5-year survival mark.
- Rates of liver cancer are rising globally.
Stomach cancer statistics
- It is estimated that in 2021, 2,392 new cases of stomach cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (1,558 men and 834 women).
- Stomach cancer has a poor mortality rate with just 33.5% of patients reaching the 5-year survival mark.
- Stomach cancer is classified as a less common cancer and is rarely diagnosed in people aged under 50 years.
Biliary cancer statistics
- It is estimated that in 2021, 1,300 new cases of biliary cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (660 men and 640 women).
- Biliary cancer is classified as a rare cancer in Australia.
- Biliary cancer has a high mortality rate with just 20.4% of patients reaching the 5-year survival mark.
Oeshophageal cancer statistics
- It is estimated that in 2021, 1,649 new cases of oesophageal cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (1,201 men and 448 women).
- Oesophageal cancer is set to remain a leading cause of cancer related deaths in 2021.
- Oesophageal cancer has a high mortality rate with just 22.5% of patients reaching the 5-year survival mark.
These statistics simply aren’t good enough. We work hard to improve outcomes for those affected by pancreatic, liver, stomach, biliary and oesophageal cancers.
> Pancare’s PanSupport Programs and Services for people living with an upper GI cancer and their families, from the point of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.
> Pancare funds world-leading research to increase survival and improve treatment options and outcomes for people diagnosed with an upper GI cancer.