Cancer programme

The Ministry leads a national work programme which provides a strategic focus for cancer control, and for system-wide improvements across the spectrum of cancer services.

Cancer is a major health issue for New Zealanders. One in three New Zealanders will have some experience of cancer, either personally or through a relative or friend.

Cancer is the country’s leading cause of death (28.9 percent) and a major cause of hospitalisation.

In 2010, 21,235 people were diagnosed with cancer in New Zealand and 8593 people died from the disease. In that year, prostate cancer and bowel cancer were the most commonly diagnosed cancers (2988 registrations for each cancer), followed by breast cancer and melanoma. Lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer death, followed by bowel, breast and prostate cancers.

Reducing the burden of cancer in our community is one of the Government’s priority areas.

Since 2008, the Ministry of Health has led a systematic and coordinated approach to cancer control through a national work programme involving district health boards (DHBs) and regional cancer networks. The national programme provides a focus for cancer control and for system-wide improvements across cancer services.

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