Dialog Box


Download the full infographic of brain cancer statistics

Brain cancer survival rates are low and have hardly changed for 30 years, despite significant increases in survival for Australians diagnosed with other types of cancer, such as prostate and breast cancer. Treatment is challenging because it affects our most vital organ. Brain cancer costs more per person than any other cancer, yet only receives a small fraction of federal government cancer research funding.   


On average, approximately 1600 brain cancers are diagnosed each year in Australia; that is roughly one person diagnosed with brain cancer every five hours.*

*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2016. ACIM (Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality) Books. AIHW: Canberra. Five year average incidence figure (2008 – 2012).color:#6B6B6B" lang="EN-AU">Source link 



  • Relative five-year survival rates for brain cancer have hardly changed for 30 years, increasing less than 2% between the periods of 1982-1987 and 2007-2011.*
  • Only two in ten people diagnosed with brain cancer will survive for at least five years.*
  • Between 1982 and 2011, brain cancer incidence and mortality trends showed little change.*

*AIHW 2012. Cancer survival and prevalence in Australia: period estimates from 1982 to 2010. Cancer Series no. 69. Cat. No. CAN 65. Canberra: AIHW pg 42. and AIHW “Cancer in Australia overview 2014”, period estimates from 2007 – 2011, Table B5(b): Survival and prevalence of brain cancer source link

Five year survival rates from brain cancer



  • Brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease.*  
  • It also kills more people under 40 in Australia than any other cancer.**
  •  Approximately 1200 people die each year from brain cancer, which is about one every 7 hours. **

*Australian Bureau of Statistics (published 2012 – 2016), 3303.0 Causes of Death, Australia (2010 – 2014),  'Table 1.3: Underlying cause of death, Selected causes by age at death, numbers and rates, Australia, Ages 1 - 14 (2010 – 2014) Source link
**Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2016. ACIM (Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality) Books. AIHW: Canberra, 2009-2013.Source link


  • Brain cancer costs more per patient than any other cancer because it is highly debilitating, affects people in their prime and often means family members cannot work if they become carers.*
  • For those aged 35–44, brain cancer accounted for the highest proportion of cancer expenditure, totalling $32 million.**

* The Cost of Cancer NSW – report by Access Economics, Australia wide, April 2007.
**AIHW, 2013; Health system expenditure on cancer and other neoplasms in Australia: 2008-09. Cancer series no. 81. Cat. No. 78. Pg 15.

The Cost of Cancer by Type 2007


Brain cancer research receives very little funding compared to other cancers and there is also minimal spend on care co-ordination or other infrastructural support for patients.

Brain cancer receives less than 5% of federal government cancer research funding.*

NHMRC funded research into cancer and other malignant neoplasms Source link

 NHMRC Brain Cancer Research Funding 2012