Cancer mortality differences between immigrants and the Australian population are investigated in the context of how diet, lifestyle factors and acculturation affect the risk of death. In general, immigrants have lower cancer mortality rates. Greeks and Italians in particular, enjoy a significant mortality advantage in relation to other Australians. It also found that there are a number of specific cancers where mortality rates are higher for some migrant groups. Upon arrival, East and South East Asian immigrants have an approximately thirty-fold higher age-adjusted risk of dying from nasopharyngeal cancer compared to their Australian-born counterparts, but this differential reduces to nine-fold after 30 years of living in Australia. Migrants from the United Kingdom, the former Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy have higher age-adjusted mortality rates from cancer of the stomach and pancreas, which decreases with increasing duration of residence in Australia. It is thought that these differentials reflect group variability in dietary and lifestyle habits and degree of retention of Old World traditions.