Burden of disease due to cancer in England and Wales

Jayatilleke, N.; Pashayan, N.; Powles, J.W.
June 2012
Journal of Public Health;Jun2012, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p287
Academic Journal
Background This study aims to estimate the burden of cancer in England and Wales using disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and to determine if the ranking of relative importance changes with metric used. Methods DALYs are the sum of years of life lost due to mortality and years lost due to disability. Annual DALYs due to cancer were calculated using cancer registration, mortality, disability weights and World Health Organization methodology. Results There were 8 605 362 DALYs due to cancer (3242 DALYs/100 000 population/year). Of the total, 47% corresponded to lung, prostate and colorectal cancers in males and 56% to breast, lung, colorectal and ovarian cancers in females. Mortality (86% of DALYs) contributed predominantly to DALYs. Individuals of 65–75 years contributed to 28% of DALYs. Among females, lung cancer ranked highest by death rates, whereas the highest DALYs were from breast cancer. Conclusions Highest DALYs were due to lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers in England and Wales. The addition of the disability component changes the relative position of some of the top cancers. Although metrics based on deaths alone capture most effects of cancer on population health levels, important additional perspectives, relevant to the planning of services, can be gained from burden of disease analyses.


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