Breast cancer: key data sources

Scottish Cancer Registry - incidence data

The Scottish Cancer Registry has been collecting population-based information on cancer since 1958. Details available for each case include personal, demographic and diagnosis information (e.g. site, histology, behaviour, histological confirmation, date and hospital of diagnosis). For further information on the Scottish Cancer Registry see the Overview of key data sources section.

National Records of Scotland (NRS) - mortality data

NRS (formerly General Register Office for Scotland) is responsible for the registration of deaths in Scotland and all deaths must be recorded in the deaths register. The register records, amongst other things, the cause, time, date and place of death. For further information on the mortality data collected by NRS see the Overview of key data sources section.

International datasets

The GLOBOCAN database includes estimates of the incidence of, and mortality from major cancers worldwide. The degree of detail and quality of data vary considerably across countries, and some of the information is based on samples rather than national populations. The GLOBOCAN database presents UK, not Scotland-level information, so comparative information for Scotland should be obtained from the ISD breast cancer statistics section.

Comparisons of cancer survival across Europe are available from the EUROCARE website along with background papers discussing the validity and comparability of these estimates.

Another source of international data on breast cancer incidence and mortality is the Scotland and European Health for All (HfA) Database.


Breast cancer is coded according to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD):

  • ICD version 9 code: 174 (from 1979-1996 for incidence, and 1979-1999 for mortality)
  • ICD version 10 code: C50 (from 1997 onwards for incidence, and from 2000 for mortality).