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Cancer Mortality Methodology

Cancer Mortality
Short description of Indicator Age-standardized mortality rate: the number of deaths from cancer that would occur in a specified population if it had the same age-distribution as a given standard population, per 100,000 population, during a defined time period.
Rationale for measurement Monitoring cancer mortality allows us to measure and evaluate population-level progress of cancer control efforts, including prevention, early detection (i.e., screening) and treatment, in reducing deaths due to cancer. It can also assist in predicting future cancer mortality rates and trends to help plan for upcoming resource, policy and research needs
Evidence/references for rationale This is a well-established cancer burden indicator, described and reported on by numerous provincial, national and international organizations, including:
Calculations for the indicator

[∑(age-specific mortality rate in a given age group x standard pop in that age group) ÷ total population in standard population] x 100,000


  • For all female breast (C50), colorectal (C18-C20, C26.0), lung (C34), and prostate (C61) cancers, by sex, Ontario, 2012‒2016.
    • Rates were standardized using 5-year age groups with the 2011 Canadian population as the standard population.
    • All deaths among Ontario residents who died in Ontario were included.
Standardized Rate Calculation Rates were standardized using 5-year age groups with the 2011 Canadian population as the standard population.
Unit N/A
Data sources
  • Ontario Cancer Registry, 2018 (Cancer Care Ontario)
  • Population data: Ontario Ministry of Finance. Ontario Population Projections (based on the 2011 Census released by Statistics Canada February 2015). Spring 2018 release.
Time Frame 2012-2016
Geographic Scale Provincial
Denominator description N/A
Numerator description N/A
  • The use of a standard population allows mortality rates to be compared across time periods and jurisdictions by adjusting for differences in the population age distribution over time and across geographic areas. The 2011 Canadian population standard is specified by Statistics Canada.
  • Cancers were defined using Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Cause of Death Recode definitions: Cancer definitions using SEER Recode may differ from definitions in other published analyses.
Data availability & limitations Mortality rates were calculated through 2016, the most recent year for which the Ontario Cancer Registry had received complete data at the time of analysis.
CSQI Year 2019