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Update of life tables used to measure background mortality

Net survival analysis involves comparing the survival of patients with cancer with background mortality (the survival of the general population). Background mortality is derived from population life tables, which are broken down by single year of age (0 to 99 years), sex, quintile of the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) and region.

It is important to use up-to-date life tables that reflect changes in the population. National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) has created these tables to use in calculating cancer survival. For cancer survival analysis, NDRS have created life tables which look at single year of age at a sub-national level, for 2001 to 2003 onwards. Smoothing has been applied to the life tables to overcome issues around high volatility and risk of disclosure. The method for producing these life tables is the same as those we published with ONS. We will publish updated lifetables annually to support future cancer survival analyses.

To find a region using the region code, visit ONS geoportal website.