Ministry of Health statistics show cancer is still the leading cause of death in New Zealand, accounting for almost 29% of all deaths.
However, the 2009 figures show cancer death rates have fallen by more than 16 percent since 1999.
The ministry says that is because of earlier diagnosis and better treatment.
Prostate cancer remains the most commonly registered cancer, followed by colorectal and breast cancer.
Lung cancer is still the most common cause of cancer death, with 19% of people dying from it.