New data shows top five cancers projected to affect people in Western Sydney Local Health District

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Prostate cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer, lung cancer and melanoma of the skin are projected to be the five most common cancers diagnosed this year in Western Sydney Local Health District, according to new data from Cancer Institute NSW.

Sadly, lung cancer, bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer are projected to be the most common cause of cancer death in the district, and more than 4,700 people in WSLHD are projected to be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year.

NSW Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of Cancer Institute NSW Professor Tracey O’Brien said around 16,000 cases of cancer and 5,000 cancer deaths could be prevented in NSW each year if the community focuses on exercising, eating healthier foods, wearing sunscreen, drinking less alcohol and stopping smoking.

“Few health challenges rival the complexity and urgency of this devastating disease and as a community, we need to do everything possible to support each other to lead healthier lives and seek help if we notice any changes to our health,” Professor O’Brien said.

“I encourage everyone to take the steps needed to reduce their cancer risk and keep families healthy and together.

“Start small and keep it simple – walk or use the stairs where you can, pick a salad instead of hot chips and make a plan for healthy new habits in 2024.”

Every 10 minutes someone in NSW is diagnosed with cancer, with one person dying from the disease every half an hour.  It remains the leading cause of disease death in the state, accounting for one in three deaths.

Despite these sobering statistics, NSW has some of the world’s best cancer outcomes, with 70 per cent of people in NSW surviving beyond five years of a cancer diagnosis.

Working together with Western Sydney Local Health District and more than 80 organisations across government, non-government and community, the Cancer Institute NSW is focused on reducing the impact of cancer on the people of NSW and saving more lives.

Key facts:

  • Seven in 10 people survive for five years after a cancer diagnosis. This rate was around six in 10 people 15 years ago.
  • One in two people will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85.
  • One in three cancer deaths can be prevented through healthy living.
  • Three in 10 cancer cases and four in 10 deaths are from rare and less common cancers.
  • Less than 40 per cent of eligible people in NSW are taking part in free bowel cancer screening.
  • Close to 52 per cent of eligible people in NSW are taking part in free breast cancer screening.
  • Approximately 67 per cent of eligible people in NSW are taking part in free cervical cancer screening.

For more information on cancer prevention and screening, including NSW’s breast, bowel or cervical cancer screening programs visit