International comparisons of cancer mortality
The OECD uses survival rates for three cancers – breast, cervical and colorectal – as indicators of the quality of care provided by healthcare systems, together with cancer screening and mortality indicators. Here we look at cancer mortality, which captures both the quality of the entire healthcare system (eg, prevention, early detection and treatment) and incidence rates.
Definitions and comparability for all the indicators discussed in this report are taken directly from the OECD report Health at a Glance 2013: OECD indicators. Detailed information about the definitions and the source and methods for each country can be found here.
Mortality rates are based on numbers of deaths registered in a country in a year divided by the size of the corresponding population. The rates have been directly age-standardised to the 2010 OECD population to remove variations arising from differences in age structures across countries and over time. The source is the WHO Mortality Database. Deaths from all cancers are classified to ICD-10 codes C00-C97. Mathers and others (2005) have provided a general assessment of the coverage, completeness and reliability of data on causes of death. Mortality rates of colorectal cancer are based on ICD-10 codes C18-C21 (colon, rectosigmoid junction, rectum, and anus).