Cancer mortality-to-incidence ratio as an indicator of cancer management outcomes in OECD countries

Assessing long-term success and efficiency is essential to evaluating cancer control programs. Mortality-to-incidence ratio (MIR) can serve as an insightful indicator of cancer management outcomes for individual nations. Calculating MIRs for the top five cancers among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, the current study attempted to outline the outcomes of national cancer management policies according to the health system ranking of each country.

The MIRs for the five most burdensome cancers globally (lung, colorectum, prostate, stomach, and breast) were calculated for all 34 OECD countries using 2012 GLOBOCAN incidence and mortality statistics. Health system rankings reported by the World Health Organization in 2000 were updated with relevant information when possible. A linear regression model was fit by taking MIRs as a dependent variable and health system rankings as the independent variable.

The linear relationships between MIR and health system rankings for the five cancers were significant, with coefficients of determination ranging from 49% to 75% without outliers. A clear outlier, Korea reported lower-than-predicted MIRs for stomach and colorectal cancer, reflecting its strong national cancer control policies, especially on cancer screening, for these cancers.

MIR was found to be a practical measure for evaluating the long-term success of cancer surveillance and the efficacy of cancer control programs, especially cancer screening. Extending the use of MIRs to evaluate other cancers may also prove useful.

Epidemiology and health. 2017 Feb 05 [Epub ahead of print]

Eunji Choi, Sangeun Lee, Bui Cam Nhung, Mina Suh, Boyoung Park, Jae Kwan Jun, Kui Son Choi

Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, National Cancer Center , Gyeonggi-do , Korea., National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center , Gyeonggi-do , Korea.