This annual statistical publication collates and analyses data on primary malignant tumour cases diagnosed in New Zealand, as reported to the New Zealand Cancer Registry.
The NZ Cancer Registry has operated since 1948 and is a population-based tumour register of all primary malignant disease. (Basal and squamous cancers arising in the skin are not required to be reported, except for those of the genitalia.)
The major sources of new registrations are copies of laboratory reports, post-discharge reports from publicly funded hospitals, death certificates and autopsy reports, and discharge reports from private hospitals.
The data collected includes information on the site, stage and pathology of the cancer, as well as demographic information (eg, ethnicity, age, sex, and domicile). The data is collected under the Cancer Registry Act 1993 and the Cancer Registry Regulations 1994.
The publication highlights the following facts:
Cancer registrations, 2009
- In 2009, 20,875 cancers were registered in New Zealand; 53.4% of the registrations were male.
- Between 1999 and 2009 the number of registrations increased by 22.8%.
- During the same period registration rates decreased by 3.0%, from 355.1 per 100,000 population in 1999 to 344.4 in 2009.
Deaths from cancer, 2009
- Cancer was the leading cause of death for both males and females in New Zealand in 2009, accounting for 28.9% of all deaths.
- In 2009, 8437 people had cancer recorded as their underlying cause of death; of these deaths, 52.2% were male.
- Between 1999 and 2009 the number of deaths from cancer increased by 9.9%
- During the same period the rate of death from cancer decreased by 16.2%, from 151.4 per 100,000 population in 1999 to 126.8 in 2009.
- In contrast to the general year-on-year increasing trend, the total number of cancer deaths fell by 1.5% between 2008 and 2009. This is thought to be due to natural variation in the data.
Most common cancers, 2009
- The most commonly registered cancer in 2009 was prostate cancer, which accounted for 16.1% of registrations. Colorectal and breast cancer were the next most commonly registered cancers.
- For males, prostate cancer accounted for 30.2% of all registrations, the next most common registrations being colorectal cancer and melanoma.
- For females, breast cancer was the most frequently registered cancer, accounting for 28.4% of female registrations. Colorectal cancer and melanoma were the next most commonly registered cancers for females.
Leading causes of death from cancer, 2009
- Lung cancer accounted for the most deaths from cancer in 2009 (18.9% of all deaths from cancer). Colorectal cancer was the next most common cause of death from cancer, followed by breast and prostate cancers.
- For men, the most common cause of death from cancer was lung cancer (19.9%), followed by colorectal cancer and then prostate cancer.
- For women, the most common cause of death from cancer was also lung cancer (17.8%), followed by breast cancer and then colorectal cancer.
Age and sex
- Fifty-seven percent of all cancer registrations in 2009 occurred in people aged 65 and over.
- Seventy-two percent of all deaths from cancer in 2009 occurred in people aged 65 and over.
- In people aged 0 to 24, the most common cancer registration was leukaemia in both males (44 registrations) and females (27 registrations). In this age group, males who died of cancer most commonly died of leukaemia (5 deaths), and females of brain cancer (7 deaths).
- Of those aged 25 to 44, melanoma was the most common cancer registration for males, and breast cancer for females. Males in this age group who died of cancer most commonly died of colorectal cancer; females most commonly died of breast cancer.
- In the 45–64 years age group, males were most commonly registered for prostate cancer and females for breast cancer. The most common cause of death from cancer in this age group was lung cancer for males and breast cancer for females.
- In people aged 65 to 74 years, the most common male registration was for prostate cancer, while for women it was breast cancer. Lung cancer was the most common cause of death from cancer for both men and women in this age group.
- In people aged 75 years and over, prostate cancer was the most commonly registered cancer for men, and colorectal cancer for women. These cancers were also the most common causes of death from cancer for each sex.
Cancer registrations, 2009
- A total of 1888 Māori and 18,987 non-Māori were registered with cancer in 2009.
- Māori had an age-standardised cancer registration rate of 415.2 per 100,000 Māori population, compared to the non-Māori rate of 337.9.
- Between 1999 and 2009 the Māori cancer registration rate fell by 1.3%; the corresponding non-Māori rate fell by 3.7%.
Deaths from cancer, 2009
- A total of 879 Māori died from cancer in 2009, compared to 7558 non-Māori.
- Māori had an age-standardised cancer mortality rate of 210.0 per 100,000 Māori population, compared to 119.8 for non-Māori.
- Between 1999 and 2009 the Māori cancer mortality rate dropped by 8.9%, while the non-Māori rate fell by 17.4%.
- Both Māori and non-Māori cancer death rates are showing a clear downward trend over time, although Māori rates are more variable due to the smaller numbers involved.