Cancer is the country’s single biggest cause of death. Most New Zealanders will have some experience of it – either personally or through a relative or friend.

More people are developing cancer – mainly because the population is growing and getting older.

Many cancers can be cured if they’re found and treated in time. It is estimated that in New Zealand, about 1 person in every 3 who gets cancer is cured. 

Even if the cancer cannot be cured, more effective treatment means many people are now living longer.

Common cancers

Cancer websites

Cancer Society
The Cancer Society of New Zealand is the country’s largest source of information about cancer and its effects. This website provides information on types of cancer, diagnosis, methods of treatment, advice on living with cancer, and local support services.

Central Cancer Network cancer services directory
A directory of cancer services in the Central regions (ie, from Wellington north to Taranaki and Hawke’s Bay).

Healthpoint cancer support directory
A directory of cancer services in the Northern regions.

Midlands Cancer Network service directory
A directory of cancer services in the Midlands (ie, from Waikato to Gisborne).

Leukaemia and Blood Foundation
The Leukaemia and Blood Foundation is dedicated to supporting patients and their families living with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood conditions.

Breast Cancer Foundation
The country’s leading breast cancer education and awareness organisation offering information on screening and early detection, diagnosis, treatment, including downloadable resources.

Gynaecological Cancer Foundation
Information and support for women affected by gynaecological cancers, including uterine, ovarian, cervical and vulval/vaginal cancers.

Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand
The Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand is a registered charitable trust. Its website provides information for people affected with melanoma.

Support and information for young people with cancer, including a national peer support network and recreational programme.

Child Cancer Foundation
The Child Cancer Foundation provides ongoing practical, emotional and financial assistance to children with cancer, and their families.

Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand
Here you can find detailed information on prostate cancer and treatments.

Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa
A nationwide, patient led organisation committed to reducing the impact of bowel cancer through awareness, education and support. This website provides information on symptoms, tests and treatment for bowel cancer.

Better Health Channel
The Better Health Channel is a Victorian (Australia) State Government website that provides a wide range of health and medical information on conditions including cancer.

Find out more from the Ministry

Cancer control in New Zealand

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

New Zealand has developed a Cancer Control Strategy, released in August 2003, which sets principles and goals to guide existing and future actions to control cancer. The New Zealand Cancer Control Strategy Action Plan 2005–2010 describes in detail how the objectives of the Strategy will be achieved.

The Ministry of Health leads a systematic, coordinated approach to cancer control through a national work programme involving district health boards and regional cancer networks.

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

Cancer data and statistics

This section is a central location for accessing cancer data and health statistics collected and produced by the Ministry of Health and wider health sector.


Find out about the work of the National Screening Unit and the 5 screening programmes it coordinates nationally.

Tobacco control

Learn more about the Ministry's work to reduce smoking prevalence and tobacco consumption.

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