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Australia has one of the highest rates of cancer incidence worldwide and, despite improving survival, cancer continues to be a public health problem. We used national data on mortality and newly registered cancer cases to compare expected and observed numbers of cancer deaths and incident cases in 2007. There was a 28% fall in cancer mortality (7827 fewer deaths in the single year 2007) and a 21% increase in new cancer cases (13012 more diagnosed cases). The reduction in cancer mortality indicates that prevention strategies, improvements in cancer treatment, and screening programs have made significant contributions to cancer control in Australia since 1987.