Deakin University
cowdery-mappingcancer-2019.pdf (1.72 MB)

Mapping cancer incidence across Western Victoria: The association with age, accessibility, and socioeconomic status among men and women

Download (1.72 MB)
Background: Cancer is a leading burden of disease in Australia and worldwide, with incidence rates varying with age, sex and geographic location. As part of the Ageing, Chronic Disease and Injury study, we aimed to map the incidence rates of primary cancer diagnoses across western Victoria and investigate the association of age, accessibility/remoteness index of Australia (ARIA) and area-level socioeconomic status (SES) with cancer incidence. Methods: Data on cancer incidence in the study region were extracted from the Victorian Cancer Registry (VCR) for men and women aged 40+ years during 2010-2013, inclusive. The age-adjusted incidence rates (per 10,000 population/year), as well as specific incidence for breast, prostate, lung, bowel and melanoma cancers, were calculated for the entire region and for the 21 Local Government Areas (LGA) that make up the whole region. The association of aggregated age, ARIA and SES with cancer incidence rates across LGAs was determined using Poisson regression. Results: Overall, 15,120 cancer cases were identified; 8218 (54%) men and 6902 women. For men, the age-standardised rate of cancer incidence for the whole region was 182.1 per 10,000 population/year (95% CI 177.7-186.5) and for women, 162.2 (95% CI: 157.9-166.5). The incidence of cancer (overall) increased with increasing age for men and women. Geographical variations in cancer incidence were also observed across the LGAs, with differences identified between men and women. Residents of socioeconomically disadvantaged and less accessible areas had higher cancer incidence (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Cancer incidence rates varied by age, sex, across LGAs and with ARIA. These findings not only provide an evidence base for identifying gaps and assessing the need for services and resource allocation across this region, but also informs policy and assists health service planning and implementation of preventative intervention strategies to reduce the incidence of cancer across western Victoria. This study also provides a model for further research across other geographical locations with policy and clinical practice implications, both nationally and internationally.



BMC cancer



Article number



1 - 10


BioMed Central


London, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, The Author(s)