‘Rare’ or less common cancers only occur in around 12 in 100,000 Australians a year, although collectively they are still responsible for a quarter of all cancer patients and have a high mortality rate, accounting for more than one in three cancer deaths.
25%‘Rare’ and less common cancers together represent around 25% of all cancers
All ages‘Rare’ and less common cancers occur across all age groups
Mortality rateThe less common cancers have a much higher mortality rate than more common ones
1 in 3Less common cancers account for 1 in 3 cancer deaths
Research into less common cancers at Garvan
Advances in medical and genomic research (looking at the interplay between all our genes together and with our habits and our environment) have improved our understanding of cancer so that cancers once defined by their location in the body, such as breast or skin, may now be categorised by harmful variations to their genetic structure.
We now know that at a cellular level, common cancers are actually composed of multiple subtypes and that allows researchers and pharmaceutical companies to target specific medicines to these genetic abnormalities far more effectively.