The Australian Cancer Atlas

Australian Cancer Atlas

Project dates: 2018 - Ongoing

The Cancer Atlas platform is the product of extensive research and collaboration with many agencies and organisations. In the context of cancer research, The Atlas is the first online, interactive platform showing how cancer diagnosis and survival vary across small areas for many different cancer types.

For Australia, state-based Cancer Atlases have been released across the country, and some information at a national level, yet there remains no comprehensive national picture of how the burden of cancer varies depending on where you live. “The Australian Cancer Atlas” addresses this gap.

Since its release for Australia, QUT have embarked on expansion of the Atlas platform to deliver equivilent impact to The Nethlands, under a project sponsored by the IKNL. This is the first time a platform like this has been deployed in Europe, and between the project partners we look forward to expanding its reach.


The interactive digital cancer atlas shows national patterns in cancer incidence and survival rates based on where people live for 20 of the most common cancers in a given country – such as lung, breast and bowel cancer – likely reflecting the characteristics, lifestyles and access to health services in the area.

As a platform, the Atlas enables readers to easily visualise those differences and offers critical insight into patterns of cancer and outcomes in any geographic context, depending on where people live, which can be used to drive research and policies going forward. The project builds on years of work by Cancer Council Queensland to better understand the cancer divide between metropolitan and rural areas, and map the gaps linked to socio-economic status and other demographic factors.

Estimates within the Atlas were calculated using sophisticated statistical models and spatial analyses, developed by statisticians from QUT and Cancer Council Queensland, using data from the government and allied agency registries.

Chief Investigators