Maps show NZ’s cancer hot-spots

  • Breaking
  • 16/06/2011

By James Murray

Regional differences in cancer incidence have been graphically illustrated in a series of maps published by the Ministry of Health today.

The shaded maps show which DHBs have significantly higher or lower rates of cancer than the national rate.

Northland, Bay of Plenty, Lakes and Canterbury DHBs had much higher cancer registrations than the national average.

Counties Manukau, Capital and Coast, Wairarapa, Hutt Valley, Otago and Southland DHBs had registration rates that were significantly lower than the national rate.

Northland, Waikato, Lakes, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Whanganui and Otago DHBs had significantly higher cancer death rates than the national rate, and Waitemata, Auckland, Capital and Coast and Canterbury had significantly lower death rates.

Today’s publications do not seek to explain the regional variety says National Clinical Director, Cancer Programme, Dr John Childs.

“The data leads to quite a number of questions which are not answered by the publication and as such, are likely to spark the interest of health researchers,” he says.

Information in this report was not adjusted for differences in ethnicity or socio-economic deprivation, which has some effect on cancer rates.

“This means it’s important to look at the population structure in different areas when reading this report. For instance, we know that Māori populations have higher rates of cancer and that people who are most deprived generally have poorer health outcomes,” says Dr Childs.

Cancer remains the leading cause of death in New Zealand, accounting for 29 percent of all deaths.

The most commonly registered cancer in 2008 was prostate cancer. Colorectal and breast cancer were the next most commonly registered sites. Lung cancer remained the leading cause of cancer death in 2008, followed by colorectal, breast and prostate cancer.

Click here to see the publication

Total cancer registration rates by DHB region, 2006–2008:


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