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Bowel Cancer: Death

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the survival rate for persons diagnosed with bowel cancer is; and what information he holds on survival rates in (a) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, (b) EU member states and (c) other countries. (197632)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 31 March 2008:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question asking what the survival rate for persons diagnosed with bowel cancer is; and what information he holds on survival rates in (a) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, (b) EU member states arid (c) other countries. [197632]

'Bowel cancer' usually refers to the large bowel (colon and rectum) rather than the small bowel (small intestine). Bowel cancer survival is usually reported separately for the colon and rectum.

The latest available survival figures for 21 common cancers among adult patients in England diagnosed during 1999-2003 and followed up to the end of 2004 are available on the National Statistics website at:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=14007&Pos=1&ColRank=1 &Rank=192

One and five-year survival for colon and rectum cancer for England is tabulated in the following table.

One and five-year agestandardised1 relative survival (percentage) for adult patients2 diagnosed with colon and rectum cancer during 1999-2003 (England), by sex

Cancer3

Patients diagnosed during; 1999-2003, England

One-year relative survival (percentage)

Five-year relative survival (percentage)

Colon

Men

69

50

Women

69

51

Rectum

Men

76

52

Women

77

55

1 As cancer survival varies with age at diagnosis, the relative survival figures for all ages (15-99) have been age-standardised to control for changes in the age profile of cancer patients over time, thus making them comparable with previously published figures. 2 Aged 15-99 years. 3 Cancers registered in 1999-2003 are defined by codes in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). Colon cancer is defined by code C18 and rectum cancer by codes C19 - C21. Source: Office for National Statistics.

Information on five-year survival for colorectal cancer in (a) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries is published in COECD Health Data 2007: Statistics and Indicators for 30 Countries' and available online at:

http://www.caliban.sourceoecd.org/vl=3345605/cl=36/nw=1/rpsv/health2007/6-3.htm

Information on cancer survival in (b) 17 EU member states (including the UK) and three other European countries is provided by the EUROCARE-4 study. The published data cover each of the four constituent countries of the UK. The most recently published results from this study provide information on survival up to five years after diagnosis for patients diagnosed with cancer during 1995-99 and followed up to the end of 2003. These results were published in:

Berrino F, De Angelis R, Sant M, Rosso S, Lasota M B, Coebergh J W and Santaquilani M. Survival for eight major cancers and all cancers combined for European adults diagnosed in 1995-99: results of the EUROCARE-4 study. Lancet Oncology 2007; 8: 773-783.

In addition, period analyses to predict cancer survival up to 10 years for patients diagnosed as recently as 2002 were published in:

Verdecchi A, Francisci S, Brenner H7 Gatta G, Micheli A, Mangone L, Kunkler I. Recent cancer survival in Europe: a 2000-02 period, analysis of EUROCARE-4 data. Lancet Oncology 2007; 8: 784-796.

Information on survival for cancer in (c) other countries is currently being produced by the CONCORD project. This will compare survival among over two million patients diagnosed with cancer of the breast, bowel or prostate during 1990-94 and followed up to 1999 in 31 countries OB five continents. Results from the CONCORD project will be published later in 2008.

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people died from bowel cancer in each year since 1997. (197635)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 31 March 2008:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many-people died from bowel cancer in each year since 1997. (197635)

The numbers of deaths where bowel cancer was the underlying cause in England and Wales from 1997 to 2006, the latest year for which data are available, are included in the following table.

Deaths from bowel cancer1 England and Wales, 1997-20062

Number of deaths

1997

15,226

1998

14,980

1999

14,564

2000

14,230

2001

14,163

2002

14,289

2003

14,087

2004

14,163

2005

14,115

2006

14.022

1 Underlying cause of death selected using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes 153-154 for the years 1997 to 2000, and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes C18-G21 for the years 2001 to 2006. The introduction of ICD-10 for coding cause of death in 2001 means that figures are not comparable with data for years before this date. Comparisons between the data before and after 2001 should therefore be interpreted with caution. An article examining the effects of the change in classification for cancer trends was published in Health Statistics Quarterly 23.* This estimated that the introduction of ICD-10 resulted in an increase in bowel cancer deaths of 1.5 per cent. when compared to ICD-9. *Brock A, Griffiths C, Rooney G (2004) The effect of the introduction of ICD-10 on cancer mortality trends in England and Wales. Health Statistics Quarterly 23, 7-17. 2 Deaths registered in each calendar year.