Cancer was covered in Q448, which was a general question to pick up long-term conditions not captured in previous sections. It asked "DO YOU HAVE ANY (OTHER) CONDITIONS THAT HAVE LASTED OR ARE LIKELY TO LAST FOR SIX MONTHS OR MORE, FOR EXAMPLE:"
The prompt card shown (H) includes "Cancer" and "Tumour cyst or growth" among 23 conditions.
Where respondents indicated they had "Cancer" or "Tumour cyst or growth" interviewers would have asked for the site of the cancer in order to code to "skin", "breast" or "other".
Q400 asks respondents: "..HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TOLD BY A DOCTOR OR NURSE YOU HAVE CANCER?"
Q401 asks: " WHAT TYPE OF CANCER WERE YOU TOLD YOU HAD? Among a list of 11 cancers, included "Breast".
Q406 asked age of diagnosis of breast cancer. Subsequent questions Q407-408 establish whether the breast cancer is still current.
Serious conditions such as breast cancer are less likely to include respondents who are self-diagnosed.
Diagnosed and current cancer only.
Standardised rate per 1,000 female population(a)
95 % confidence intervals on standardised rates
3.0 - 5.0
1.9 - 3.3
More detailed and direct question/prompting in 2001 than 1995 provides more information (type of cancer and persons who were previously diagnosed but no longer have cancer). However, the more detailed question module is not necessarily expected to elicit a higher level of response.
National incidence data show that breast cancer reporting has increased slightly from 1989-90 to 1995 and decreased slightly from 1995 to 1999, AIHW, 2003.
(a) Age standardised to 2001 NHS benchmark population.