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Cancer Mortality

Key findings

The age-standardized mortality rates for colorectal and lung cancers declined from 2012 to 2016 for both men and women. During the same period, the female breast cancer mortality rate remained stable, and the prostate cancer mortality rate decreased slightly.

 

Why is this important to Ontarians?

Cancer mortality describes the number of deaths attributable to cancer. Mortality is often reported as a rate per 100,000 people.

Cancer mortality rates can reflect:

  • cancer population characteristics
  • the prevalence of factors associated with dying of cancer
  • interventions that reduce this risk (such as early detection and treatment)

Cancer mortality is a measure of cancer burden. It is affected by both cancer incidence and survival.

See Cancer Mortality Methodology for technical information.

Notes:

1. Rates are per 100,000 and standardized to the age distribution of the 2011 Canadian population.

2. Cancer deaths defined by National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Cause of Death recode.

 

Notes:

1. Rates are per 100,000 and standardized to the age distribution of the 2011 Canadian population.

2. Cancer deaths defined by National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results SEER Cause of Death recode.

 

Notes:

1. Rates are per 100,000 and standardized to the age distribution of the 2011 Canadian population.

2. Cancer deaths defined by National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Cause of Death recode.

 

Notes:

1. Rates are per 100,000 and standardized to the age distribution of the 2011 Canadian population.

2. Cancer deaths defined by National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Cause of Death recode.

 

Data Table 1. Age-standardized mortality rates for female breast cancer, 2012 to 2016
Year of diagnosis Age-standardized rate
2012 25.7
2013 24.4
2014 25
2015 24.2
2016 24.9

Notes:

1. Rates are per 100,000 and standardized to the age distribution of the 2011 Canadian population.

2. Cancer deaths defined by National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Cause of Death recode.

 

 

Data Table 2. Age-standardized mortality rates for colorectal cancer, 2012 to 2016
Year of diagnosis Both sexes Males Females
2012 22.8 29.0 18.1
2013 21.6 26.0 18.2
2014 21.9 27.3 17.8
2015 20.9 25.5 17.3
2016 20.6 25.2 17.0

Notes:

1. Rates are per 100,000 and standardized to the age distribution of the 2011 Canadian population.

2. Cancer deaths defined by National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results SEER Cause of Death recode.

 

 

Data Table 3. Age-standardized mortality rates for lung cancer, 2012 to 2016
Year of diagnosis Both sexes Males Females
2012 49.9 60.6 42
2013 48.1 57.6 41
2014 47.2 56.8 40.3
2015 45.9 54.3 39.6
2016 44.2 50.8 39.3

Notes:

1. Rates are per 100,000 and standardized to the age distribution of the 2011 Canadian population.

2. Cancer deaths defined by National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Cause of Death recode.

 

 

Data Table 4. Age-standardized mortality rates for prostate cancer, 2012 to 2016
Year of diagnosis Age-standardized rate
2012 26
2013 26.3
2014 24.8
2015 23.7
2016 24.4

Notes:

1. Rates are per 100,000 and standardized to the age distribution of the 2011 Canadian population.

2. Cancer deaths defined by National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Cause of Death recode.

 

Table 1: Estimated age-standardized mortality rates, 2018, by jurisdiction and type of cancer

Jurisdiction

Female Breast

 

Age-standardized mortality rate

Prostate

 

Age-standardized mortality rate

Colorectal

 

Age-standardized mortality rate

Lung

 

Age-standardized mortality rate

Ontarioϴ

13.2

8.7

Male: 11.6
Female: 7.8
Both: 9.6

Male: 23.9
Female: 19.3
Both: 21.3

Canada

12.1

7.8

Male: 12.2
Female: 8.2

Male: 25.4
Female: 22.1

Finland

11.3

10.8

Male: 10.8
Female: 6.8

Male: 20.8
Female: 11.2

France

15.4

8.1

Male: 13.1
Female: 7.9

Male: 38.9
Female: 15.3

Japan

9.3

4.4

Male: 15.2
Female: 9.2

Male: 26.5
Female: 7.8

Netherlands

16.5

11.7

Male: 16.5
Female: 11.5

Male: 29.7
Female: 24.5

New Zealand

14.2

11.6

Male: 13.4
Female: 10.9

Male: 18.5
Female: 17.8

Norway

11

16.1

Male: 15.3
Female: 11.3

Male: 22.3
Female: 18.6

Sweden

11.4

15.0

Male: 12.4
Female: 9.0

Male: 15.0
Female: 14.8

United Kingdom

14.4

12.7

Male: 13.3
Female: 9.3

Male: 25.2
Female: 19.7

 

United States

12.7

7.7

Male: 9.6
Female: 6.9

Male: 25.9
Female: 19.0

 

Data source:
World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; c2019. GLOBOCAN 2018: estimated cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence worldwide in 2018 [cited on 2019 Apr 10]. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr

Notes:

  1. ϴ Age-standardized mortality rates are per 100, 00 and are standardized to the age distribution of the 1960 World Standard Population.
  2. Colorectal cancer includes colon, rectal and anal cancers.
  3. Ontario data is from 2016.
  4. †Mortality rates for France are based on data from the metropolitan region.

Results

  • In Ontario, age-standardized mortality rates for colorectal and lung cancers declined from 2012 to 2016. This positive trend may be a result of decreasing incidence rates for these cancers and improved screening rates for colorectal cancer.
  • Age-standardized mortality rates for breast cancer remained fairly stable from 2012 to 2016.
  • Prostate cancer mortality rates slightly decreased between 2012 and 2016.

Comparisons

Getting comparable data and measures from other jurisdictions is a challenge. Be aware of the different data definitions, methodologies and years used in indicators measured outside of Ontario. Jurisdictional comparison is still useful to provide a rough indication of how well Ontario is doing relative to other provinces and countries.

Use caution when comparing data

  • Similar to incidence, mortality data are collected within organized government systems, and cause of death is assigned and coded using an international classification system (the International Classification of Diseases).[1] This enables international comparisons of the effectiveness of cancer control.

Cancer mortality comparisons

  • Age-standardized mortality rates from the following jurisdictions are being compared with Ontario: Canada, Finland, France, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. These age-standardized rates are meant only to allow comparisons. They do not represent the true rates of death in the jurisdictions.

GLOBOCAN 2018 Database (see Table 1)

  • Female breast cancer mortality: Out of the 11 jurisdictions compared in the analysis, Ontario performed better (i.e., had lower mortality rates) than the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and New Zealand. However, Ontario performed worse (i.e., had higher mortality rates) than Canada, the United States, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Japan. Of all the jurisdictions compared, Japan had the lowest mortality rate (9.3 per 100,000).
  • Prostate cancer mortality: Ontario ranked fifth best out of the 11 jurisdictions compared in the analysis, with a prostate cancer mortality rate of 8.7 per 100,000. Norway was the worst performer with a mortality rate of 16.1 per 100,000, while Japan had the lowest prostate cancer mortality rate (4.4 per 100,000).
  • Colorectal cancer mortality: Out of the 11 jurisdictions examined, the female mortality rate for colorectal cancer in Ontario was among the lowest (7.8 per 100,000). Of all the jurisdictions compared, the United States had the lowest female colorectal cancer mortality rate (6.9 per 100,000). Similarly, among males in the 11 jurisdictions examined, Ontario had the second lowest mortality rate (11.6 per 100,000) after Finland, which had the lowest mortality rate for colorectal cancer at 10.8 per 100, 000.
  • Lung cancer mortality: Of the 11 jurisdictions examined, Ontario’s female lung cancer mortality rate was lower than those of Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, but higher than those of Finland, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United States. Japan had the lowest female lung cancer mortality rate (7.8 per 100,000). Among males in the 11 jurisdictions examined, the mortality rate in Ontario was lower than those of Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, but higher than those of Finland, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden. Sweden had the lowest male lung cancer mortality rate (15.0 per 100,000).
     

For more information

Find more information on cancer incidence, mortality, survival and prevalence in Ontario in the Ontario Cancer Statistics 2018 Report

Find information on cancer statistics across Canada in Canadian Cancer Statistics.

References

  1. World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; c2019. GLOBOCAN 2018: estimated cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence worldwide in 2018; [cited on 2019 Apr 10]. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr.