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Nearly 1.5 million Australians will die of cancer over a 25 period

Nearly 1.5 million Australians will die of cancer over a 25-year period spanning 2020-2044, new research by the Daffodil Centre at Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney shows.

The research, published in the Lancet Public Health, claimed 1.45 million would die "without major new government investments in prevention, early detection and patient care".

It also said there would be more than 4.56 million cancer cases diagnosed over the same period.

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In the Hospital Sick Male Patient Sleeps on the Bed. Heart Rate Monitor Equipment is on His Finger.

Daffodil Centre Director and Chair of Cancer Council's Cancer Screening and Immunisation Committee, Professor Karen Canfell, said the study highlights the need for more research and widespread screening programs.

"Every one of those 4.56 million individuals that could develop cancer in the future is a valued member of our community," she said.

"Research is needed to support new breakthroughs in prevention, treatment and care. Further investment is also required to increase access to the most effective existing approaches, such as national screening programs."

The study authors said increased bowel cancer screening participation is one of the most important priorities, given low screening rates and high prevalence of the disease.

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This photo, provided by the American Academy of Dermatology, shows a typical presentation of a suspicious mole that eventually was diagnosed as melanoma.

While 1.45 million are predicted to die this marks a decline of about 20 per cent when compared to the previous 25-year period, which saw a death rate of 30 per cent.

"Death rates are expected to fall, at varying rates, for most cancers, except for a few cancers which are projected to be relatively stable or increase," Canfell added.

"While this projected decline in overall cancer death rates is positive, we know that a 20 per cent fall over the next 25 years just isn't enough.

"We could improve significantly on these outcomes, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of the 1.45 million lives expected to be lost – but only if there is a commitment to investing in doing more of what we know works."

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The cancers for which death rates are predicted to fall most sharply are lung cancer and melanoma.

This is due in large part to preventative measures such as tobacco control and skin protection and better treatment.

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