Technical notes

  • Cancer is classified by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems Version 10 (ICD–10). This is a statistical classification, published by the World Health Organization, in which each morbid condition is assigned a unique code according to established criteria.
  • Actual mortality data up to 2018 are based on the year of occurrence of the death and data for 2019 are based on the year of registration of the death.

  • The 2018–2021 incidence estimates are projections based on 2008–2017 incidence data. The 2020–2021 mortality estimates are projections based on 2010–2019 data.

  • Relative survival was calculated with the period method, using the period 2013–2017 (Brenner & Gefeller 1996). This captured the survival experience of people who were diagnosed with cancer before or during 2013–2017 and were still alive at the beginning of 2013. Note that this period does not contain estimated incidence data. Estimated incidence data includes DCO cases for NSW in 2017, NT cases in 2017, late-registration cases for Australia (excluding the NT) in 2017 and late-registration cases for the NT in 2016. Data from the National Death Index (NDI) on deaths (from any cause) that occurred up to 31 December 2017 were used to determine which people with cancer had died and when this occurred.

  • Relative survival for registry-derived (RD) stage tables was calculated using the cohort method, using the period 2011–2016. In this method, a cohort of patients diagnosed with cancer is followed over time to estimate the proportion surviving for a selected timeframe (e.g. 5 years).
  • Age-specific incidence, mortality and prevalence rates are expressed as per 100,000 population.
  • Age-standardised incidence and mortality rates for the Australian population were age standardised to the 2001 Australian Standard Population and are expressed as per 100,000 population.
  • Incidence and mortality rates are based on the Australian population as at 30 June. Prevalence rates are based on the Australian population as at 31 December.
  • Stage data for colorectal cancer excludes cases identified from death certificates only, cancer of the appendix (ICD-10 code C18.1), and colorectal cancers with a histology for which staging rules are not applicable.
  • Stage data for breast cancer in females includes ICD-10 code C50, lung cancer excludes trachea (C34), melanoma of the skin excludes skin of genitals and melanoma of “unknown primary site” (C43) and prostate cancer includes C61. Certain morphology codes are excluded.