A summary of the methods used to estimate cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence is given below. You can also select a country from the list to display the detailed information about the methods used to build-up the estimates in that country.
 
Population 

The methods of estimation are country specific and the quality of the estimation depends upon the quality and on the amount of the information available for each country. In theory, there are as many methods as countries, and because of the variety and the complexity of these methods, an overall quality score for the incidence and mortality estimates combined is almost impossible to establish.
However an alphanumeric scoring system which independently describes the availability of incidence and mortality data has been established at the country level. The combined score is presented together with the estimates for each country with an aim of providing a broad indication of the robustness of the estimation.

Availability of incidence data:
A. High quality* national data or high quality regional (coverage greater than 50%).
B. High quality* regional (coverage between 10% and 50%).
C. High quality* regional (coverage lower than 10%).
D. National data (rates).
E. Regional data (rates).
F. Frequency data.
G. No data.

*Data included in Cancer incidence in Five Continents (CI5) volume IXa and/or Xb.
  • a Curado. M. P., Edwards, B., Shin. H.R., Storm. H., Ferlay. J., Heanue. M. and Boyle. P., eds (2007) Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Vol. IX. IARC Scientific Publications No. 160, Lyon, IARC.
  • b Forman D, Bray F, Brewster DH, Gombe Mbalawa C, Kohler B, PiƱeros M, Steliarova-Foucher E, Swaminathan R and Ferlay J eds (2013)
    Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Vol. X (electronic version) Lyon, IARC. http://ci5.iarc.fr last accessed on [01-11-2013]

Availability of mortality data:
National statistics are collated and made available by the WHO for countries with vital registration.
1. High quality* complete vital registration.
2. Medium quality* complete vital registration.
3. Low quality* complete vital registration.
4. Incomplete or sample vital registration.
5. Other sources (cancer registries, verbal autopsy surveys etc.).
6. No data.

*Criteria defined in Mathers et al. (2005).


Methods: incidence

The methods to estimate the sex- and age-specific incidence rates of cancer for a specific country fall into one of the following broad categories, in priority order:

1. Rates projected to 2012 (38 countries)
2. Most recent rates applied to 2012 population (20 countries)
3. Estimated from national mortality by modelling, using incidence mortality ratios derived from recorded data in country-specific cancer registries (13 countries)
4. Estimated from national mortality estimates by modelling, using incidence mortality ratios derived from recorded data in local cancer registries in neighbouring countries (9 European countries)
5. Estimated from national mortality estimates using modelled survival (32 countries)
6. Estimated as the weighted average of the local rates (16 countries)
7. One cancer registry covering part of a country is used as representative of the country profile (11 countries)
8. Age/sex specific rates for "all cancers" were partitioned using data on relative frequency of different cancers (by age and sex) (12 countries)
9. The rates are those of neighbouring countries or registries in the same area (33 countries)

Methods: mortality

Depending of the degree of detail and accuracy of the national mortality data, six methods have been utilised in the following order of priority:

1. Rates projected to 2012 (69 countries)
2. Most recent rates applied to 2012 population (26 countries)
3. Estimated as the weighted average of regional rates (1 country)
4. Estimated from national incidence estimates by modelling, using country-specific survival (2 countries)
5. Estimated from national incidence estimates using modelled survival (83 countries)
6. The rates are those of neighbouring countries or registries in the same area (3 countries)


The following article reviews the sources and methods used in compiling the national cancer incidence and mortality estimates in GLOBOCAN 2012, and briefly describes the key results by cancer site and in 20 large areas of the world.


POPULATIONData sourceMethods
IncidenceMortalityIncidenceMortality
AfghanistanG695
AlbaniaG341
AlgeriaC665
AngolaG695
ArgentinaB331
ArmeniaG352
AustraliaA111
AustriaA211
AzerbaijanG252
BahamasG152
BahrainA311
BangladeshF685
BarbadosG252
BelarusA212
BelgiumA222
BelizeG251
BeninF695
BhutanD625
BoliviaG685
Bosnia HerzegovinaD522
BotswanaD625
BrazilB231
BruneiF552
BulgariaA211
Burkina FasoF685
BurundiG695
CambodiaG695
CameroonE675
CanadaA111
Cape VerdeG695
Central African RepublicG695
ChadG695
ChileC231
ChinaC431
ColombiaC231
ComorosG695
Congo, Democratic Republic ofG695
Congo, Republic ofE675
Costa RicaA211
Cote d IvoireF685
CroatiaA211
CubaC131
CyprusA322
Czech RepublicA211
DenmarkA211
DjiboutiG695
Dominican RepublicG352
EcuadorC331
EgyptC365
El SalvadorG251
Equatorial GuineaG695
EritreaG695
EstoniaA111
EthiopiaE675
FijiD352
FinlandA111
France (metropolitan)B231
France, GuadeloupeG252
France, La ReunionD215
France, MartiniqueA211
French GuianaG251
French PolynesiaD512
FYR MacedoniaG341
GabonF685
GeorgiaG252
GermanyB211
GhanaF685
GreeceG341
GuamD625
GuatemalaG252
GuineaE675
Guinea-BissauG695
GuyanaG251
HaitiG352
HondurasG656
HungaryG141
IcelandA111
IndiaC564
IndonesiaF665
Iran, Islamic Republic ofC665
IraqF685
IrelandA111
IsraelA211
ItalyB231
JamaicaC352
JapanB131
JordanD515
KazakhstanG252
KenyaE665
Korea, Democratic Republic ofG696
Korea, Republic ofA211
KuwaitA211
KyrgyzstanG251
Lao PDRG695
LatviaA111
LebanonD625
LesothoG695
LiberiaG695
LibyaC675
LithuaniaA111
LuxembourgD241
MadagascarG695
MalawiC675
MalaysiaC265
MaldivesG695
MaliE675
MaltaA111
MauritaniaG695
MauritiusD222
MexicoE151
MongoliaD522
MontenegroG696
MoroccoE665
MozambiqueE685
MyanmarG695
NamibiaD625
NepalG695
New CaledoniaD522
New ZealandA111
NicaraguaG351
NigerE675
NigeriaE665
NorwayA211
OmanA325
PakistanE665
PanamaG251
Papua New GuineaG685
ParaguayG351
PeruE351
PhilippinesB262
PolandC331
PortugalC341
Puerto RicoA211
QatarA325
Republic of MoldovaG141
RomaniaE141
Russian FederationD211
RwandaF695
SamoaD625
Saudi ArabiaD615
SenegalG695
SerbiaB241
Sierra LeoneG695
SingaporeA111
SlovakiaA111
SloveniaA111
Solomon IslandsG695
SomaliaG695
South African RepublicD311
South SudanG695
SpainB231
Sri LankaD625
State of PalestineF685
SudanF685
SurinameG351
SwazilandD625
SwedenA211
SwitzerlandB231
Syrian Arab RepublicG695
TajikistanG352
TanzaniaE665
ThailandB364
The GambiaD625
The NetherlandsA211
Timor-LesteG695
TogoF685
Trinidad and TobagoD251
TunisiaC665
TurkeyC665
TurkmenistanG251
UgandaC675
UkraineA222
United Arab EmiratesD625
United KingdomA111
United States of AmericaA111
UruguayA222
UzbekistanG252
VanuatuD625
VenezuelaG151
Viet NamE453
Western SaharaG695
YemenE675
ZambiaE675
ZimbabweC665

Methods: prevalence

The sex- and cancer-specific 1-, 3- and 5-year prevalence estimates for 2012 were computed by multiplying the corresponding estimates for 2008 [Bray et al.] by the ratios of the estimated incident cases in 2012 in adult population to the corresponding estimated cases for 2008.