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, 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, 2010
- In 2010, 21,235 cancers were registered in New Zealand; 52.1% of the registrations were male.
- Between 2000 and 2010 the number of registrations increased by 18.7%.
- During the same period registration rates decreased by 6.9%, from 368.2 per 100,000 population in 2000 to 342.9 in 2010.
Deaths from cancer, 2010
- Cancer was the leading cause of death for both males and females in New Zealand in 2010, accounting for nearly a third of all deaths.
- In 2010, 8593 people had cancer recorded as their underlying cause of death; of these deaths, 52.5% were male.
- Between 2000 and 2010 the number of deaths from cancer increased by 12.8%
- During the same period the rate of death from cancer decreased by 14.3%, from 146.1 per 100,000 population in 2000 to 125.2 in 2010
- In line with the general year-on-year increasing trend, the total number of cancer deaths rose by 1.8% between 2009 and 2010.
Most common cancers, 2010
- The most commonly registered cancers in 2010 were prostate and colorectal cancers, which each accounted for 14.1% of registrations. Breast cancer and melanoma were the next most commonly registered cancers.
- For males, prostate cancer accounted for 27.0% 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 27.5% of female registrations. As with males, colorectal cancer and melanoma were the next most commonly registered cancers.
Leading causes of death from cancer, 2010
- Lung cancer accounted for the most deaths from cancer in 2010 (19.2% of all deaths from cancer). Colorectal cancer was the next most common cause of death from cancer, followed by breast and prostate cancers.
- For males, the most common cause of death from cancer was lung cancer (19.8%), followed by colorectal cancer and then prostate cancer.
- For females, the most common cause of death from cancer was also lung cancer (18.5%), followed by breast cancer and then colorectal cancer.
Age and sex
- Fifty-six percent of all cancer registrations in 2010 were for people aged 65 and over.
- Seventy-two percent of all deaths from cancer in 2010 were people aged 65 and over.
- For people aged 0 to 24, the most common cancer registration was leukaemia for both males (44 registrations) and females (22 registrations). In this age group, males who died of cancer most commonly died of leukaemia or brain cancer (8 deaths each), and females of leukaemia (5 deaths).
- For 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 stomach cancer; females most commonly died of breast cancer.
- In the 45–64 years age group, the most common cancers registered were prostate cancer for males and breast cancer for females. 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 cancers registered were the same as for the 45–64 years age group. 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 both sexes.
Cancer registrations, 2010
- A total of 2015 Māori and 19,220 non-Māori were registered with cancer in 2010.
- Māori had an age-standardised cancer registration rate of 424.1 per 100,000 Māori population, compared to the non-Māori rate of 335.3.
- Between 2000 and 2010 the Māori cancer registration rate was variable and showed no clear trend; the corresponding non-Māori rate fell by 8.1%.
Deaths from cancer, 2010
- A total of 877 Māori died from cancer in 2010, compared to 7716 non-Māori.
- Māori had an age-standardised cancer mortality rate of 197.6 per 100,000 Māori population, compared to 118.6 for non-Māori.
- Between 2000 and 2010 the Māori cancer mortality rate dropped by 13.6%, and the non-Māori rate fell by 15.3%.
- Both Māori and non-Māori cancer death rates showed a clear downward trend over time, although Māori rates were more variable due to the smaller numbers.