Conditional crude probabilities of death for English cancer patients

Kwok F. Wong*, Paul C. Lambert, Sarwar I. Mozumder, John Broggio, Mark J. Rutherford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cancer survival statistics are typically reported by using measures discounting the impact of other-cause mortality, such as net survival. This is a hypothetical measure and is interpreted as excluding the possibility of cancer patients dying from other causes. Crude probability of death partitions the all-cause probability of death into deaths from cancer and other causes. Methods: The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service is the single cancer registry for England. In 2006–2015, 1,590,477 malignant tumours were diagnosed for breast, colorectal, lung, melanoma and prostate cancer in adults. We used a relative survival framework, with a period approach, providing estimates for up to 10-year survival. Mortality was partitioned into deaths due to cancer or other causes. Unconditional and conditional (on surviving 1-years and 5-years) crude probability of death were estimated for the five cancers. Results: Elderly patients who survived for a longer period before dying were more likely to die from other causes of death (except for lung cancer). For younger patients, deaths were almost entirely due to the cancer. Conclusion: There are different measures of survival, each with their own strengths and limitations. Careful choices of survival measures are needed for specific scenarios to maximise the understanding of the data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-889
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data for this study are based on patient-level information collected by the NHS, as part of the care and support of cancer patients. The data are collated, maintained and quality assured by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, which is part of Public Health England (PHE).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Cancer Research UK.


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