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.
- In 2011, there were 21,050 new cases of cancer registered in New Zealand; 52.5% of these were male.
- The age-standardised registration rate decreased by 7.8%, from 359.1 per 100,000 population in 2001 to 331.0 per 100,000 in 2011.
Deaths from cancer
- Cancer was the most common cause of death for both males and females in New Zealand in 2011, accounting for nearly a third of all deaths.
- 8891 people had cancer recorded as their underlying cause of death; 52.3% of these were male.
- Between 2001 and 2011 the age-standardised death rate from cancer decreased by 13.4%, from 145.5 to 125.9 per 100,000 population.
Most common cancers
- The most commonly registered cancer was colorectal (3030 registrations), followed by prostate cancer (3023 registrations), together accounting for 28.8% of registrations. Breast cancer and melanoma were the next most commonly registered cancers.
- For males, the most commonly registered cancer was prostate cancer, which accounted for 27.3% of all male registrations; the next most common were colorectal cancer, and melanoma.
- For females, breast cancer was the most common cancer registered, accounting for 28.7% of female registrations. As with males, colorectal cancer and melanoma were the next most commonly registered cancers.
Most common causes of cancer death
- Lung cancer accounted for the most deaths from cancer (18.9%). 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 (19.5%), followed by colorectal cancer and prostate cancer.
- For females, the most common cause of death from cancer was also lung cancer (18.2%), followed by breast cancer and then colorectal cancer.
Age and sex
- Fifty-seven percent of all new cancers registered in 2011 were for people aged 65 and over.
- Seventy-three percent of all deaths from cancer in 2011 were people aged 65 and over.
- In people aged 0–24 years, the most common cancer registration was leukaemia for both males and females. In this age group, males who died of cancer most commonly died of brain cancer, and females of brain cancer and leukaemia.
- In people aged 25–44 years, 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 brain cancer; females most commonly died of breast cancer.
- In people aged 45–64 years, the most common cancer registration was 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 65–74 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, the most common cancer registration and the most common cause of death from cancer was prostate cancer for men, and colorectal cancer for women.
Cancer registrations, 2011
- A total of 1991 Māori and 19,059 non-Māori were registered with cancer.
- Māori had an age-standardised cancer registration rate of 409.8 per 100,000 population, compared to the non-Māori rate of 324.3 per 100,000 population.
- Between 2001 and 2011 the Māori cancer registration rate was variable and showed no clear trend; the corresponding non-Māori rate was less variable and fell by 9.2%.
Deaths from cancer, 2011
- A total of 939 Māori and 7952 non-Māori died from cancer.
- Māori had an age-standardised cancer mortality rate of 204.6 per 100,000 population, compared to 118.9 for non-Māori.
- Between 2001 and 2011 the Māori cancer mortality rate dropped by 10.3%, and the non-Māori rate fell by 14.3%.