Western Australian Cancer Registry definition of terms

Cumulative incidence

An estimate of the proportion of persons, up to a specific age, who have been affected by a particular condition at some time. In Registry reports, this is expressed as a percentage.


Refers to the number of new diagnoses. This is reported for all malignancies except primary squamous cell and basal cell skin cancers (SCC and BCC).

Lifetime risk (LR)

Estimates the probability of having cancer (incidence) or dying of it (mortality), up to a specific age. This is derived from the relevant cumulative incidence figures, and calculated for ages 0 to 74 years. LR is expressed as a ‘1 in n’ chance of diagnosis or death.


Refers to the number of deaths occurring due to cancer. This is reported for all malignancies and certain other tumours or tumour-like conditions.

Person years of life lost (PYLL)

An estimate of the number of years of life lost due to specific causes, calculated to age 75 years – an index of premature death.


Rates are calculated separately for males and females, expressed as events (diagnoses or deaths) per 100,000 person-years.

For more information about how these rates are calculated see statistical methods

If you have any concerns

If you have any concerns about the functioning of the registry, please contact us. You can also contact the Office of Health Review (external site) by phoning 9323 0600.