Cancer care in Australia

According to World Health Organization comparisons, Australian cancer patients generally have better cancer survival rates than those in other countries.1 In the last 30 years, the death rate for cancer in Australia (number of deaths per 100,000 people) has dropped by more than 24%.2 This trend is driven by treatment improvements and new interventions leading to more patients surviving from the most commonly diagnosed cancers, including bowel cancer and prostate cancer in males and breast cancer in females.3

And yet, Australia has one of the highest rates of cancer diagnosis internationally,4 with 134,000 new cases estimated to be diagnosed in 2018.2 This number is predicted to rise to 150,000 in 2020,2 due to Australia’s increasingly ageing population.5 Currently, an estimated 1.1 million (1 in 22) Australians are living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis.6 By 2040, it is estimated that 1 in 18 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.6

Healthcare in Australia is largely publicly funded, but cancer patients report relatively high out-of-pocket health costs. The financial costs of cancer in Australia are unequally distributed, as some cancer types are more costly to the individual.7 Those in rural and remote areas often face greater out-of-pocket costs and can have difficulty accessing healthcare services.7

In Australia, cancer has a significant social and economic impact on individuals, families and the broader community. People in lower socioeconomic positions have higher rates of cancer burden, with patients in the lowest socioeconomic group experiencing 1.4 times the cancer burden of those in the highest group.7

All.Can Australia initiative

The All.Can initiative began in Australia in late 2017, and was officially launched on World Cancer Day (4 February) 2018. The patient-focused initiative aims to gather insights from the cancer community and sharpen the focus on delivery of care truly of value to patients. The Australian chapter plans to identify improvements to the cancer patient care pathway through the healthcare system.

The overarching goal for All.Can is to help contribute to sustainable resource allocation in cancer care so that funding is directed to interventions which create the most value for patients. This reflects the global reforms in healthcare that are moving away from volume-based care and focusing on improving patient outcomes.

Activities and milestones

  • Development of a research report that evaluates the Australian cancer care system, providing insight into key stages of the patient journey that might benefit from improvement to create better patient outcomes. The report will establish a baseline understanding of the patient journey at a health system-wide level and identify efficient allocation of resources so that Australian cancer patients receive the most value for care at every point of their journey. The findings are expected to inform future research into the value of cancer care at various stages of the patient journey.
  • Participation in the All.Can global patient survey will establish an evidence base of patients’ insights gained from their personal experience, and help to identify opportunities to reallocate resources to improve patient outcomes and value of care. The Australian cancer community is keen to contribute to global data and obtain new data that capture the experiences of Australian cancer patients. Patient organisations will play a key role in disseminating the survey, which the All.Can Australia Steering Committee will develop in consultation with its global counterparts.




  1. AIHW. Cancer in Australia 2017; ix: 1039-3307. Available here: [accessed: February 2018]
  2. Cancer Council Australia. Facts and Figures. Available here: [accessed: February 2018]
  3. AIHW. Cancer mortality trends and projections Available here: [accessed: February 2018]
  4. International Agency for Research on Cancer (World Health Organization). Worldwide Cancer Incidence. Available here: [accessed: February 2018]
  5. Australian Cancer Research Foundation. Cancer incidence and mortality in Australia. Available here: [accessed: February 2018]
  6. Cancer Council Australia. Australians living with and beyond cancer in 2040. Available here: [accessed: February 2018]
  7. AIHW. Burden of cancer in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011. Available here: [accessed: February 2018]

Australia’s first pan-cancer navigation model delivered by All.Can Australia research

New research developed by All.Can Australia in collaboration with research partner Healthcare Management Advisors (HMA) highlights the potential benefits of establishing Australia’s first pan-cancer navigation model. The All.Can Australia Cancer Care Navigator Analysis Report outlines how patients and the economy could benefit from a single…

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Secretariat: Karina Durham, Palin Communications

The All.Can Australia Steering Committee is led by representatives from cancer/patient organisations, consumer health groups, biopharmaceutical industry, nurses, pharmacists, hospitals, health economists, university faculties and allied health groups.

The structure and membership of the Steering Committee is representative of the full continuum of cancer care throughout the patient journey.

All.Can Australia is co-chaired by Professor John Zalcberg and Richard Vines. For full details of the Steering Committee, see below. The Steering Committee has been structured to encourage shared decision-making across all activities and is supported by Palin Communications as secretariat.

Steering group

Dr Zoe Wainer

Bupa Australia and New Zealand

Prof. Christobel Saunders

University of Melbourne

Professor John Zalcberg

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

Richard Vines

Rare Cancers Australia

Dr Bennie Ng

Healthscope Operations

James McAdam

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Kristin Michaels

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

Alison Verhoeven

Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

David Thomson

Amgen Australia

Sue Hegarty

Ovarian Cancer Australia

Darin Kottage


Australia’s first pan-cancer navigation model delivered by All.Can Australia research

New research developed by All.Can Australia in collaboration with research partner Healthcare Management Advisors (HMA) highlights the potential benefits of establishing Australia’s first pan-cancer navigation model. The All.Can Australia Cancer…

Co-intelligence: Knowledge exchange overtaking competition to drive global cancer care progress

By Prof. Christobel Saunders,  All.Can Australia Steering Committee member, Prof. Surgical Oncology University of Western Australia and in-coming James Stewart Chair of Surgery Royal Melbourne Hospital We have all experienced…

Technology is the missing link to change the future of cancer care

By Bill Petch, All.Can Australia Co-Chair Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be one of the most stressful and unbalancing moments in a person’s life. The delivery of the news itself…

SPCC Webinar Series – 12 April: What is efficiency in cancer care in Australia

The next SPCC webinar taking place on 12 April 2021 will discuss “What is efficiency in cancer care in Australia”. Among the speakers will be Prof. Christobel Saunders of University…

All.Can Australia kicks off Cancer Care Navigator Project

To mark the third anniversary of its creation, All.Can Australia has officially commenced its next project, which sets out to analyse the economic and patient impact of Cancer Care Navigators,…

All.Can Australia launches national data from patient survey

All.Can Australia has launched the results of the national-level findings from the All.Can international patient survey. 

Australia joins international patient survey to improve cancer care

Australians who have been diagnosed and treated for cancer have the opportunity to share their experiences with the world as part of a global research project.

All.Can Australia launches in the lead-up to World Cancer Day

Australia has become the latest country to launch a national All.Can initiative.

Cancer Care Navigator Analysis

Read All.Can Australia’s report on the assessment of the optimal role of cancer care navigators for Australian cancer patients and their families: All.Can Australia – CCN analysis report FINAL.

An Exploration of the Cancer Pathway in Australia

In 2019, All.Can Australia developed a report mapping out the cancer care pathway in Australia through consultations with stakeholders, download All.Can Australia full report here.

Press release: All.Can patient survey findings


Video: Common inefficiencies impacting patient outcomes


Video: Using new research to improve patient outcomes


The All.Can initiative is made up of leading representatives of patient organisations, policymakers, healthcare professionals, science and industry. All the publications produced under the initiative reflect the consensus of All.Can members who have full editorial control.

All.Can Australia is funded by Bristol Myers Squibb Australia, with support from Palin Communications as secretariat