Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) Cancer data in Australia, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 02 December 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). Cancer data in Australia. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia
Cancer data in Australia. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 04 October 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Cancer data in Australia [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2022 Dec. 2]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Cancer data in Australia, viewed 2 December 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia
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Cancer data in Australia (CdiA) now includes the group ‘all sarcomas combined’. Sarcomas are cancers that originate in bone, cartilage and the soft tissues of the body (for example, the ligaments, tendons, muscles, subcutaneous tissue and blood vessels). CdiA already includes data on soft tissue sarcoma and bone cancer and the combination of these produces ‘all sarcomas combined’.
Note that many kinds of cancer that originate outside bones can spread to the bones. However, CdiA only reports on cancers classified by their primary (original) site, not where they spread to (secondary sites). In the context of primary site, the terms “bone cancer” and “bone sarcoma” are equivalent, i.e. every primary cancer of the bone is a sarcoma.
Prior to the creation of this new cancer reporting category, a review was undertaken of the CdiA definitions of soft tissue sarcoma and bone cancer. This resulted in changes to both definitions. This commentary summarises the impact of these changes on the time series of incidence counts.
The definitions of soft tissue sarcoma and bone cancer used in previous versions of CdiA were compared with the RARECAREnet project list of cancers. The RARECAREnet project involves partners all around Europe and aims at building an information network to provide comprehensive information on rare cancers to the community at large. The definitions used within the RARECAREnet project and potential changes to them were discussed with Australia’s cancer registries. It should be noted that the potential changes discussed with Australian cancer registries relate only to the cancer coding and not whether the cancer is rare.
At the time of releasing CdiA, the review is not fully complete. It is possible that some further small changes will occur as work continues in this area. However, the current new definitions already offer a substantial improvement to existing reporting.
The following sections highlight the impact of the changes to cancer incidence counts. The definitions themselves can be found in Appendix A.
The impact of using the new definition is very small. Between 2008 and 2017 the new definition gives an average of 2 more cases per year than the old definition.
Source: AIHW Australian Cancer Database 2017
The impact of using the new definition varies from year to year. Between 2008 and 2017 the new definition gives an average of around 58 more cases per year than the old definition.
The definitions are given in terms of ICD-O-3 topography and histology codes. The RARECAREnet list of cancers is available within the supplementary tables of the Incidence and survival of rare cancers in the US and Europe research paper.
8800–8806, 8810–8812, 8815, 8830, 8840, 8850–8855, 8890, 8891, 8894–8896, 8900–8902, 8910, 8912,
8920, 9040–9044, 9120, 9124, 9130, 9133, 9150, 9170, 9180–9187, 9192–9195, 9220, 9221, 9230, 9231,
9240, 9242, 9243, 9250, 9260, 9364, 9473, 9540, 9560, 9561, 9571, 9580, 9581
The new CdiA definition for bone cancer is the same as the RARECAREnet definition but also includes codes shown in Table 3.
The new CdiA definition for soft tissue sarcoma is the same as the RARECAREnet definition but also includes codes shown in Table 6.
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