Terms & definitions we use
This page covers the terms we use in cancer statistics reports. See the end of the page for definitions of cancer site and type, and links to BC government administrative boundary information.
The age of the patient (in completed years) at the time of diagnosis or death.
The number of new cases of cancer or cancer deaths during the year, expressed as a rate per 100,000 persons in a given age group.
The number of new cases of cancer or cancer deaths per 100,000 that would have occurred in the standard population (1991 Canadian population) if the actual age-specific rates observed in a given population had prevailed in the standard population.
Network of cancer clinics, affiliated with BC Cancer, that provide cancer care in the community.
Survival rate in which only deaths from the disease are counted.
International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision.
The number of new cases of a given type of cancer diagnosed.
The basic unit of reporting is a new case of cancer rather than an individual patient.
The number of new cases of a given type of cancer per person in the general population (usually expressed as a rate per 100,000).
Measures the relative rate of cancer in a Health Authority Region compared to the provincial average.
The number of deaths attributed to a particular type of cancer that occurred during the year.
Included are deaths of patients diagnosed in earlier years, persons with a new diagnosis during the year, and patients for whom a diagnosis of cancer is made only after death.
The number of new deaths of a given type of cancer per person in the general population (usually expressed as a rate per 100,000).
Survival rate in which deaths from any cause are counted.
Cases receiving some level of service at a BC Cancer cancer centre or Communities Oncology clinic (e.g. seen by a BC Cancer oncologist; cases registered with the BC Cancer pharmacy for drug reimbursement).
Overall survival rate which is statistically adjusted to remove the effects of deaths from causes other than the disease.
Polulation comparisons are adjusted for age differences by expressing outcomes in terms of age distribution of the standard population. See age-standardized rates.
Cancer surveillance includes the collection of data, and the review, analysis and dissemination of findings on incidence (new cases), prevalence, morbidity, survival and mortality. Surveillance also serves to collect information on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of the public with respect to practices that prevent cancer, facilitate screening, extend survival and improve quality of life.
Proportion of people alive at a given time after diagnosis (e.g. 5 year survival rate)
Elapsed time between diagnosis and death.
TNM ensures unified procedures in the general method of classification by anatomical extent of disease. Classification by stages facilitates communication of exact unequivocal information on a malignant neoplasm. The rules of classification and division by stages will be changed in connection with new results in diagnostics and therapy. (Publisher/Year: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., NewYork)
Cancer site & type definitions are cancer site groupings and coding classifications.
BC Ministry of Health maps of administrative boundaries.
- See Health Regions section for Health Authorities, Health Service Delivery Areas and Local Health Areas.
- See Translations and Data Sets for Correspondence between Health Authorities, Health Service Delivery Areas and Local Health Areas.