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about cancer incidence data

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  • For each data source, information about data collection and analytical methods, limitations, the citation and additional resources can be found on the Data Sources and Methods page.


Original Source: Cancer Care Ontario (CCO)
Distributed by: Cancer Care Ontario
Cite as: Ontario Cancer Incidence Database 1986-2009, Cancer Care Ontario, Release: SEER*Stat Release 9 OCRIS (May 2012) released October 2012


Data collection methods

  • The Ontario Cancer Registry (OCR), housed at Cancer Care Ontario, is a computerized database of information on all Ontario residents who have been newly diagnosed with cancer ('incidence') or who have died of cancer ('mortality').
  • All types of cancer are registered, except non-melanoma skin cancer. The system is passive and relies predominantly on administrative data.
  • The Registry is compiled by linking administrative data, clinical and demographic data from four major data sources:
    • Hospital discharge and ambulatory care records with cancer diagnoses in the CIHI (Canadian Institute of Health Information) DADS and NACRS databases (Discharge Abstract Database and National Ambulatory Care Reporting System),
    • Pathology reports with any mention of cancer from hospitals and private laboratories,
    • Records from Regional Cancer Centres or Princess Margaret Hospital, and
    • Ontario death certificates with cancer as the underlying cause of death.
  • All cancer-related data on these records are reviewed by an electronic system of medical logic to produce consolidated information about the cancer diagnosis.
  • Cancer diagnoses are classified according to the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, 3rd edition (ICDO-3).

Analysis methods

  • Analyses are conducted using the SEER*Stat Rate Session function, and, age-adjusted rates that have been standardized to the 1991 Canadian total population.
  • 95% confidence intervals and standard errors are also calculated in the program.
  • Ontario incidence data from the OCR are included in the annual Canadian Cancer Statistics publication for comparison with other provinces and territories; because of submission dates to the Canadian Cancer Registry, these published data will differ slightly from data published or obtained directly from Cancer Care Ontario.
  • Rates and proportions based on counts less than six (6) are suppressed.


  • Currently, this data source only provides information at the Census Division (CD) or Public Health Unit (PHU) level of geography.
  • The population data source is not as current as that used for other analyses.


  1. Cancer Care Ontario.
  2. National Cancer Institute of Canada: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2009, Toronto, Canada, 2009.

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