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date: 03 March 2021

Cancer Mortality: Incidence Ratio (Syn: cancer MIR, cancer mortality-to-incidence ratio) 

A Dictionary of Epidemiology

Miquel Porta

The ratio of mortality to incidence for each of several cancer sites being considered in a study. It is one diagnostic technique among several that can be used to gain some sense of cancer data quality; its main use is in studies of the natural history and survival rates of malignancies. Because not all patients with cancer die of cancer, the number of new cases in any one year should exceed cancer deaths in that same year, and—if cancer mortality and incidence are reported accurately—the ratio between the two should be proportional to the known survival for each specific site. For example, cancers with poor survival, such as pancreatic cancer, would be expected to have an MIR closer to unity than cancers with better survival, such as testicular cancer. If MIR exceeds unity, concern should arise about the quality of the data.... ...

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