Colorectal 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.  The detailed statistics are available from the colorectal cancer area of the ISD Scotland website.

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.

UK data

Incidence and mortality data for England and Wales are available on the cancer section of the ONS website (select what you want from the product list on the page this link directs you to) and also on the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) website.

The Cancer Atlas of the United Kingdom and Ireland 1991-2000 contains interesting graphical comparisons and background information.

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 colorectal cancer area of the ISD Scotland website.

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


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

  1. ICD version 9 code : 153 and 154 (from 1979-1996 for incidence, and 1979-1999 for mortality)
  2. ICD version 10 code : C18 - C20 (from 1997 onwards for incidence, and from 2000 for  mortality).  Anal cancers (ICD-9 154.2, 154.3 and 154.8; ICD-10 C21) are often excluded from colorectal cancer statistics.