Mortality and illness JSNA


The prevalence of cancer in the borough of Rochdale is 3.2 per cent of the population (Quality Outcomes Framework, 2021/22). This is below the national rate of 3.3 per cent.

What is cancer?

Cancer occurs when cells change abnormally and divide in an uncontrolled way. The cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs. Cancer sometimes begins in one part of the body before spreading to other areas.

There are more than 200 different types of cancer and more than 1 in 3 people will get cancer at some stage in their lifetime. In the UK the 4 most common types of cancer are breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and bowel cancer. They are one of the major causes of death in the UK, accounting for over 1 in 4 deaths.

Cancer risk factors

A person's risk of developing cancer depends on a combination of genes, environment and lifestyle. Cancer is caused by damage to our DNA and can be affected by things we come into contact with in our environment, such as UV rays, or through our lifestyles such as chemicals in tobacco or alcohol. This damage can build up over time. If a cell develops too much damage to its DNA it can start to grow and multiply out of control – this is how cancer starts.

Screening can detect cancer in the early stages and allow people to have more treatment options and a greater chance of survival. Community programmes to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer also help to detect cancers early.

Statistics on cancer

  • NHS Digital – Quality Outcome Framework - the prevalence of cancer in the borough can be viewed through the Quality Outcomes Framework tool on the NHS Digital site. It also allows you to see data down to GP Practice level for a number of conditions including cancer.
  • Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) - Cancer services profiles - this tool contains data on cancer services at the General Practitioner (GP) and Integrated Care Systems (ICS) level and is for commissioners and health professionals to use when assessing the impact of cancer on their local population and making decisions about services. They include data on cancer screening, Two Week Wait referrals, diagnostic services, emergency presentations and admissions.
  • Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) - Premature mortality visualisation tool - the Longer Lives mortality tool highlights premature mortality across every local authority in England, giving people important information to help them improve their community's health. It includes data for cancer and breakdowns for lung, breast and colorectal cancers.

Guidance on cancer