Glossary of key terms
Click on the menus below for an explanation of key terms.
Age-standardised rate (ASR)
Age-standardisation adjusts rates to take into account how many old or young people are in the population being looked at. ASR is used to compare several populations that may differ with respect to age as it provides unbiased comparisons of incidence and mortality to identify other factors that may explain the difference in cancer risk between populations.
A cancer plan is a national public health strategy or programme designed to reduce the number of cancer deaths and improve prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and care for cancer and the investment required to deliver these services.
In this Atlas a cancer plan is defined by the existence of a national cancer plan, either an integrated or cancer-specific policy, programme or action plan which is currently in operation in a specified country. It may include lung cancer as an element of the plan.
A cancer registry is a systematic collection of data on cancer. It would generally collect data on the incidence, cancer type, the stage of disease at diagnosis and the treatment for each cancer patient in a country among other measures. There are two types of cancer registry:
- A population-based registry which collects data on all new cases of cancer occurring in a well defined population to monitor the effectiveness of cancer control programmes and strategies
- A hospital-based cancer registry, which collects data on diagnosis and therapy on patients seen in a particular hospita
In this Atlas a cancer registry is defined as the existence of a national, population-based cancer registry.
EUROCARE is the widest collaborative research project on cancer survival in Europe. The project started in 1989 under the initiative of two research institutes, Istituto Nazionale Tumori (Milan, Italy) and Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Rome, Italy), with the participation of a large number of population-based cancer registries throughout Europe. The fifth and current publication, EUROCARE-5, includes data on more than 21 million cancer diagnoses provided by 116 cancer registries in 30 European countries. For more information on the EUROCARE project, please visit their website here: http://www.eurocare.it.
The Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC) comprises 31 non-governmental patient organisations from: Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and US. The GLCC website can be accessed here: http://www.lungcancercoalition.org.
The GLOBOCAN data set provides contemporary estimates of the incidence, mortality and prevalence from major types of cancer, at a national level, for 184 countries of the world. The estimates are based on the most recent data available at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and on information publically available on the internet, but more recent figures may be available directly from local sources. More information can be found here: http://globocan.iarc.fr/Default.aspx
International Agency for Research on Cancer
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is the specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO). The objective of IARC is to promote international collaboration in cancer research. The IARC has an important role in describing the burden of cancer worldwide, through co-operation with, and assistance to, cancer registries and in monitoring geographical variations and trends over time. Key publications include the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents series and GLOBOCAN. More information about IARC can be found on their website: http://www.iarc.fr.
International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership
The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) is a unique and innovative global partnership of clinicians, academics and policymakers in six countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK. It seeks to understand how and why cancer survival varies between countries and/or jurisdictions. It aims to generate insight and understanding that will help all partners improve cancer survival outcomes by optimising cancer policies and services. More information on the ICBP can be found on Cancer Research UK’s website here: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/spotcancerearly/ICBP.
Incidence (number of cases)
Incidence is defined as the number of new cases of cancer diagnosed in an identified population within a specified time period.
Lung cancer is one of the most common and life threatening types of cancer. There are two main types of lung cancer, classified by the type of cell in which the cancer starts. They are:
- Non-small-cell lung cancer – the most common type, which can be either squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma or large-cell carcinoma
- Small-cell lung cancer – a less common type that usually spreads faster than non-small-cell lung cancer
The type of lung cancer diagnosed will determine which treatments are recommended.
Mortality (number of cases)
Mortality is defined as the number of deaths from cancer in an identified population within a specified time period.
Net survival estimates the probability of surviving cancer over a given period of time, excluding all other causes of death. By treating cancer as the only cause of death net survival highlights the impact of cancer specific services (such as early diagnosis and treatment) on cancer survival, however it cannot be used to determine the number of people alive after a diagnosis of cancer.
No data (ND)
ND represents countries that were included in the source but reported to have no data.
Not applicable (n/a)
n/a represents countries that were not included in the data source.
Relative survival compares the survival experience of individuals with cancer to those in the general population. It is generally calculated by dividing the observed survival rate by the expected survival rate of a similar group of people from the general population.
Survival is defined as the percentage of people still alive after a specified period of time, usually one year, three years and five years, following a diagnosis of cancer in an identified population within a specified time period.
A tobacco plan is a public health control strategy designed to reduce smoking prevalence. In this Atlas a tobacco plan is defined as the implementation of a national tobacco control strategy, plan or programme in accordance with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. For more information on WHO, please visit their website: http://www.who.int/en.
World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO. It was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic and was adopted by the World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003 and came into force on 27 February 2005. For more information of the WHO FCTC, please visit their website: http://www.who.int/fctc/en.