The Belgian Cancer Registry registers data as of the incidence year 1997. Details that date before 1997 are not very reliable since the methodology used for their registration and processing was completely different at the time. We even see significant improvements in the methodology between 1997 and 1999. This continuous progression resulted in a virtually complete registration for Flanders (virtually complete coverage) as of the registration year 1999-2000.


Registration in Wallonia and Brussels only began later and it took until incidence year 2004 to achieve full coverage for these regions, and thus for Belgium. Data for Belgium prior to the period 1999-2003 has not been included here due to under-registration at the time.


You can access the incidence figures for tumour localisation, gender, age, incidence year and region via this page.

The numbers can be obtained in three different forms. The absolute numbers (N) can be obtained using the first option. These represent the number of new cancer diagnoses registered in a certain period. The numbers are presented per age category of five years.                                                                
Absolute numbers per age category. Click to enlarge.

To be able to compare the risk of cancer between different age categories, the absolute numbers per age category are recalculated for the same population size (N/100,000). You can retrieve these figures via a second module.                                                                                       
Age-specific incidence. Click to enlarge.                         

Incidence trends. Click to enlarge.                     
The third option displays incidence trends. Trends can be consulted for:
  • N: the total number of new diagnoses per year
  • CR: 'crude rate' or gross incidence in which the total number of new registered diagnoses (N) for the population as a whole are reduced to a population of 100,000 persons
  • CRi or Cumulative Risk (expressed in %) represents the chance of someone becoming ill in a certain period. For cancer this variable is expressed as the number of newborns (per 100) that, exposed to the current risk (current incidence ratios), would be affected by a specific type of cancer before the age of 75, without taking other causes of death into account.
  • ESR-WSR: age-standardised incidence using the European or Global Standard Population(N/100,000)                                                               

Standardisation (ESR-WSR) is necessary to make up for differences in the population structure (over time or between regions). An important factor in interpreting trends in the occurrence ofcancer is aging. Cancer is after all an illness that is age-related. As a rule: the larger the fraction of older people in the population, the higher the total number of cancer diagnoses. The use of absolute numbers (N) and gross incidence numbers (CR) will give a misleading picture of the actual changes in the risk of developing cancer.

Absolute numbers per age group (N)

Age-specific incidence (N/100,000)

Incidence trends