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The stage of a cancer describes the size of a tumour and how far it has spread from where it originated – ranging from stage 1 where the cancer is small and hasn’t spread, to stage 4 where the cancer is larger and has spread elsewhere in the body.
The publication includes information on the proportion of all cancers diagnosed at an early stage, which is presented as unadjusted percentages and adjusted for case-mix, which means factors like age, sex, cancer site and socio-economic deprivation are taken into account.2
The data includes information on:
Number and percentage of stageable cancers3 diagnosed at stages 1 and 2 in England
Case-mix adjusted and unadjusted percentage of cancers diagnosed at stages 1 and 2 in England for 18 cancer types
Number of cancers diagnosed in England by stage for 18 cancer types
The most recently available results are for cancers diagnosed in 2020, with data available from 2013.4
This work uses data that has been provided by patients and collected by the NHS as part of their care and support. The data are collated, maintained and quality assured by the National Disease Registration Service, which is part of NHS Digital. On 1 October 2021, responsibility for the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) transferred from Public Health England (PHE) to NHS Digital. NHS Digital is the data controller for this data.
The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) as part of the NDRS is still responsible for collecting data on patients with cancer in England and continues to produce the cancer statistics publications.
Staging is a way to describe where a cancer is located, its size and how far it has grown into nearby tissues. A few cases are “unstageable”, which means it may have been unable to identify the extent of the disease, or that the cancer did not meet criteria for staging.