In 2010, Neoplasms (C00-D48) was the underlying cause of 43,298 registered deaths in Australia. This accounted for 30.2% of all registered deaths. The ratio of male (24,552) to female (18,746) deaths in 2010 remained steady at 131 males per 100 females. The median age of persons dying from Malignant cancers (C00-C97) has continued to rise from 73.7 years in 2001 to 75.2 years in 2010. Deaths due to malignant cancers accounted for 42,330 deaths or 97.8% of all cancers in 2010.
Cancers of the digestive organs (C15-C26) accounted for 11,856 deaths. Of these, Pancreatic cancer (C25) constituted the largest number of deaths with 2,434 deaths. There was a small difference between the numbers of males (1,233) and females (1,201) dying from pancreatic cancer; however, the median age of males dying of pancreatic cancer (72.6) was lower than for females (77.7) dying of the same cause.
Colon cancer (C18) was the second highest contributor to deaths from cancers of the digestive organs, accounting for 2,145 deaths. The median age at death for people dying of colon cancer was 75.8 years for males and 79.8 years for females, with the largest number of deaths occurring between 75 and 84 years of age for both males and females.
There were 8,449 deaths attributed to Cancers of the respiratory system and chest (C30-C39), accounting for 20.0% of all malignant cancers. Lung cancer (C34) was the underlying cause of 8,095 (95.8%) deaths due to cancers of the respiratory system and chest. The male to female ratio of lung cancer deaths has changed from 194 male deaths per 100 females in 2001 to 156 male deaths per 100 females in 2010. Since 2001 the number of female deaths from this cause has increased by 771 while the number of male deaths has increased by 295. Males whose underlying cause of death was lung cancer, had a marginally higher median age at death (73.8 years) than females (73.4 years) with the same underlying cause.
Prostate cancer (C61) was the underlying cause of 4.4% of all male deaths registered in 2010. Male deaths from this underlying cause have increased gradually from 2,711 in 2001 to 3,235 in 2010. The median age at death for prostate cancer has steadily increased from 79.2 years in 2001 to 81.6 years in 2010. The current median age at death for prostate cancer is close to the median age for all deaths (81.2 years).
In females, deaths due to Breast cancer (C50) have risen from 2,612 in 2001 to 2,840 in 2010. The female median age at death due to breast cancer was 69.8 years, 14.4 years lower than the median age for all female deaths (84.2 years).