The Australian Cancer Atlas is the first online, interactive platform showing how cancer diagnosis and survival vary across small areas for many different cancer types.
There is a long history of studies showing that where you live matters, particularly for health. In 2011, we released the Atlas of Cancer in Queensland, highlighting how the patterns of cancer incidence and survival varied depending on where people lived. This Atlas had an important influence on key policy initiatives designed to reduce that geographical variation in Queensland. While other state-based Cancer Atlases have been released across the country, and some information at an Australian level, there remains no comprehensive national picture of how the burden of cancer varies depending on where you live.
The Australian Cancer Atlas aims to address that gap. It built on our previous experience to provide a national perspective of how the burden of cancer varies by geographical area. It does this by expanding the spatial models used to generate the statistics, the methods of visualising the results, and disseminating the atlas through a freely accessible, interactive, online system.
The Australian Cancer Atlas is a collaborative study funded by FrontierSI (formerly the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information), Cancer Council Queensland, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Queensland University of Technology. The Atlas has additional support from the Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship. It has been endorsed by the Australasian Association of Cancer Registries and Cancer Council Australia, and investigators access expertise from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS).
The Australian Cancer Digital Atlas 1.0 was officially released in September 2018, with a data update released in February 2021. Work on the Australian Cancer Atlas 2.0 commenced in March 2021, and is planned to be launched in 2023.