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Review of Cancer Incidence and Survival Statistics: User Consultation

Opening date: 18 December 2012
Closing date: 20 February 2013
Department: Office for National Statistics
Category: Health and Care

We reviewed our cancer incidence and survival outputs to ensure that they continued to meet users’ requirements. As part of this exercise we consulted users on how National Statistics on cancer incidence and survival should be developed in the future.

We asked

What you thought of our proposals to develop statistics on cancer incidence and survival.

You said

  • You raised concerns that new outputs might cause duplication of effort between ONS and other organisations.

  • You questioned whether ONS or another organisation would be best placed to carry out additional work.

  • You questioned the quality of data collected for stage, treatment and patient’s occupation and thought that it might could impact on the accuracy of any new outputs.

  • You mostly agreed that the new proposed outputs would be useful, but also had concerns about the quality of the existing data.

  • You suggested three additional outputs which were not included in the proposal: cancer prevalence, median survival and distribution of treatment types at a sub-national level.
    You mostly thought information on occupation would not be useful.

We did

  • We agreed that duplication of effort should be avoided and welcomed collaborative working between ONS and other organisations in the development of cancer incidence and survival statistics. This was to be achieved by ensuring that there was consistency in the split
    between what ONS provides and what other organisations provide.

  • We started pursuing the possibility of producing National Statistics on the distribution of stage at diagnosis and survival by stage at diagnosis.
    We aimed to publish Experimental Statistics on the distribution of stage at diagnosis and survival by stage at diagnosis by 2015 subject to funding.

  • We investigated breaking down the proposed outputs by demographic factors and geographical area, as you requested.

  • We agreed not to produce information on occupation.

  • We decided not to produce treatment related statistics following concerns raised about the
    quality and consistency of this information.

  • Our investigations into the feasibility of producing cancer prevalence statistics continued.

  • We decided not to publish estimates of median survival, because we did not think this
    would be a useful indicator for a variety of statistical reasons.


Sarah Whitehead
Life Events and Population Sources Division
Office for National Statistics
Room 1.364
Government Buildings
Cardiff Road
NP10 8XG
Phone: +44 (0)1633 651620

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