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 (e.g. ethnicity, age, and sex). The data is collected under the Cancer Registry Act 1993 and the Cancer Registry Regulations 1994.
The publication highlights the following facts:
Cancer registrations, 2006
- In 2006 18,895 cancers were registered in New Zealand; 52.0 percent of the registrations were male.
- Between 1996 and 2006 the number of registrations increased by 16.0 percent.
- Age-standardised registration rates decreased by 8.0 percent from a value of 365.3 per 100,000 population in 1996 to 335.9 in 2006.
- All historical cancer registration data in this publication (1996–2005) was re-extracted from the Cancer Registry in 2009. Therefore, the numbers and rates of cancer registrations published in previous editions of this publication will be different to those published in this document.
Deaths from cancer, 2006
- Cancer was the leading cause of death for both males and females in New Zealand in 2006, accounting for 28.5 percent of all deaths.
- In 2006 8094 people had cancer recorded as their underlying cause of death; of these deaths, 51.0 percent were male.
- Between 1996 and 2006 the number of deaths from cancer increased by 8.5 percent.
- Rates of death from cancer have decreased by 17.7 percent from a value of 160.8 in 1996 to 132.4 in 2006.
Most common cancers, 2006
- The most commonly registered cancer in 2006 was colorectal cancer, accounting for 14.8 percent of registrations. Breast and prostate cancer were the next most commonly registered sites.
- Prostate cancer accounted for 25.2 percent of all male registrations, with the next most common registrations being colorectal cancer and malignant melanoma of the skin.
- For females, breast cancer was the most frequently registered cancer, accounting for 28.3 percent of female registrations. Colorectal cancer and malignant melanoma of the skin were the next most common.
Leading causes of death from cancer, 2006
- Lung cancer accounted for the most deaths from cancer in 2006 (18.0 percent of all deaths from cancer). Colorectal and breast cancer were the next most common.
- For men, the most common cause of death from cancer was lung cancer (19.3 percent), followed by colorectal cancer and then prostate cancer.
- For women, lung cancer caused the highest number of deaths (16.7 percent), followed by colorectal cancer and then breast cancer.
Age and sex
- 56.1 percent of all cancer registrations in 2006 occurred in people aged 65 and over.
- 71.7 percent of all deaths from cancer in 2006 occurred in people aged 65 and over.
- In people aged 0–24 the most common registrations were for leukaemia in both males and females. Males in this age group died most commonly of leukaemia, and females of brain cancer.
- Of those aged 25–44, malignant melanoma of the skin was the most common registration for males. Breast cancer was the most frequently registered cancer for females. Males most commonly died of brain cancer, and females of breast cancer.
- In the 45–64 age group, men were most commonly registered with prostate cancer, and women with breast cancer. The most common cause of death from cancer in males was lung cancer, and for women breast cancer.
- In people aged 65–74, the most common male registration was for prostate cancer, and for women, breast cancer. Lung cancer was the most common cause of death from cancer for both men and women.
- In people aged 75 and over, prostate cancer was the most commonly registered cancer for men and colorectal cancer the most commonly registered for women. These cancers were also the most common causes of death from cancer for each sex.
Cancer registrations, 2006
- 1679 Māori were registered with cancer in this year, compared to 17,216 non-Māori.
- Māori had an age-standardised cancer registration rate of 419.1, compared to 329.2 for non-Māori.
- Māori registration rates decreased by 3.1 percent between 1996 and 2006, compared to a decrease of 8.6 percent for non-Māori.
Deaths from cancer, 2006
- 790 Māori died from cancer, compared to 7304 non-Māori.
- Māori had a cancer mortality rate of 217.3, compared to 125.7 for non-Māori.
- Māori death rates from cancer decreased by 14.4 percent between 1996 and 2006, compared to a decrease of 18.4 percent for non-Māori.
- In 2009 the New Zealand Cancer Registry adjusted its approach to ethnicity collection in order to rectify a perceived undercount within some ethnic groups. This resulted in some significant changes in the proportions of registrations allocated to particular ethnicities, meaning that calculations relating to ethnicity in previous publications cannot be compared with those presented in this publication.