Empty Use: setheader(no|en,rooturl,roottopic,subtopic,emailcontact,telephone)

Illustrations presented in this lecture are from the IARC/GLOBOCAN2002 web resources, downloaded from the IARC/CANCERMondial web-page (http://www-dep.iarc.fr/)

Reference Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. 1997. (WCRF/AICR)

Incidence rates of all cancers combined


Age-standardized incidence rate

What is an age-standardized rate (ASR)?

  • A summary measure of a rate that a population would have if it had a certain age structure.
  • Standardization is necessary when comparing several populations that differ with respect to age because age has such a powerful influence on the risk of cancer. Otherwise populations with a higher proportion of elderly would appear to have higher incidence rates than countries where a larger percentage is young.


  • Take the country’s age specific rates,
  • multiply each with the world standard population for each age group (se below),
  • add up these age-specific products,
  • divide by 100 000.

This gives a “World Standardized incidence or mortality rate”

World standard population

The table provides the number of people in each age group of the world standard population


Look at the map below from www.unicef.org.
Discussion question:
Is cancer a disease of the developed world?


Some useful LINKS to web pages relevant to this topic are listed below:

World Health Organization

Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health

Food and nutrition information center (U.S. Dept of Agriculture)

Cancer: (National Cancer Institute, U.S., Physician Data Query (prevention and treatment of cancer)

The International Epidemiological Association (with many useful epidemiology links)

The Epidemiology Monitor

Harrison's online