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Cancer statistics

Cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in New Zealand affecting individuals, families, friends and communities. Every day around 51 people are diagnosed with cancer in New Zealand and there are 22 cancer deaths.

For a version of the below information that includes graphs and ethnicity data please click here


What is cancer? 

‘Cancer' is a generic term used to describe a group of over a hundred diseases that occur when cells reproduce abnormally. These cancer cells continue to divide and grow to produce tumours. Cancer cells can also invade adjacent structures and spread via the lymph or blood to distant organs. Some of the biological mechanisms that change a normal cell into a cancer cell are known; others are not.

Cancer differs from most other diseases in that it can develop at any stage in life, although it is predominantly a disease of old age. No two cancers behave exactly alike. Some may follow an aggressive course, with the cancer growing rapidly; other types grow slowly or may remain dormant for years. Very high cure rates can be achieved for some types of cancers, but for others the cure rates are disappointingly low and await improved methods of detection and treatment.

The wide range of cancer treatments and associated services reflects the biological diversity of cancer. It is estimated that environment or lifestyle can cause about 80% of cancers and these cancers are therefore potentially preventable. The risk factors for some cancers have been clearly identified, such as the link between tobacco and lung cancer, but for others further research is needed.

 

Cancer in Auckland and Northland

  • 4,990 new diagnoses and 2,029 deaths in Auckland
  • 719 new diagnoses and 347 deaths in Northland
By DHB areas
  • Auckland (ADHB): 1,574 cancer registrations and 589 deaths
  • Counties Manukau (CMDHB): 1,500 cancer registrations and 624 deaths
  • Waitemata (WDHB): 1,916 cancer registrations and 816 deaths
  • Northern (NDHB): 719 cancer registrations and 347  deaths


 Cancer in New Zealand

  •  Cancer is the leading cause of death in New Zealand accounting for 29.4% of all deaths

  • 18,610 new cancer diagnoses and 7,970 cancer deaths in New Zealand


By cancer  

Most common cancers

1. Colorectal 14.6% (2716 cases)
2. Breast (13.3% (2479 cases)
3. Prostate 13.3% (2471 cases)
4. Melanoma 10.8% (2017 cases)
5. Lung 8.9% (1659 cases)

Leading cause of cancer deaths

1. Lung 18.2% (1451)
2. Colorectal 15.3% (1222)
3. Breast 8.2% (652)
4. Prostate 7.1% (564)
5. Pancreas 4.1% (353)


By age

Cancer diagnosis by age

0-14 years 0.6% (115)
15-24 years 0.8% (151)
25-44 years 8.1% (1,499)
45-64 years 34.4% (6,399)
65-74 years 25.7% (4,774)
75+ years 30.5% (5,672)

Cancer deaths by age

0-14 years 0.03% (23)
15-24 years 0.05% (42)
25-44 years 3.8% (302)
45-64 years 24.5% (1,953)
65-74 years 24.2% (1,931)
75+ years 47.0% (3,719)


By gender  

Females 

8,963 new diagnoses and 3,786 deaths

Most common cancer diagnoses for females:

1. Breast 27.4% (2,458)
2. Colorectal 15.5% (1,385)
3. Melanoma 9.8% (910)

Leading cause of death for females:

1. Breast 17.1% (647)
2. Colorectal 16.2% (614)
3. Lung 15.5% (587)

Males

9,647 new diagnoses and 4,184 deaths

Most common cancer diagnoses for males:

1. Prostate 25.6% (2,471)
2. Colorectal 13.8% (1,331)
3. Melanoma 11.5% (1,107)

Most common cancer deaths for males:

1. Lung 20.7 (864)
2. Colorectal 14.5% (608)
3. Prostate 13.5% (564)


For further information and statistics visit www.nzhis.govt.nz

Source: Ministry of Health. 2009. Cancer:Registrations and Deaths 2006. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

Last Updated: Monday 21 February, 2011