Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
A risk-adjusted method is proposed for estimating cancer incidence rates from data collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program of the US National Cancer Institute. Unlike the conventional incidence-rate estimates reported by SEER, this method considers only the first primary cancer, and adjusts for population-based cancer prevalence, as well as for surgical procedures which remove an individual from risk of developing a given cancer. Thus, risk-adjusted incidence-rates more accurately reflect the average cancer risk for individuals in the cancer-free, at-risk population. The results of the analysis indicate that, in general, incidence-rate estimates are fairly similar between the conventional and risk-adjusted methods. However, this is not the case for certain cancer sites which may have: (i) a high number of subsequent primary cancers (e.g., melanomas—skin); (ii) a high cancer prevalence proportion (e.g., prostate cancer); (iii) a high number of subsequent primary cancers and prevalence proportion (e.g., female breast); or (iv) a high prevalence of removal of the organ in question (e.g., cervical and uterine cancers). For example, by applying the risk-adjusted incidence method for in situ and invasive cervical cancer, we found that in the period 1990–92 the age-adjusted incidence-rate estimate increased from 57.8 to 66.3 (15 percent) per 100,000 person-years; the greatest increase in the incidence-rate estimate occurred for women aged 65 to 69 years, from 40.1 to 63.2 (58 percent) per 100,000 person-years; and the lifetime risk of developing cervical cancer increased from 4.6 (1 in 22) to 5.5 (1 in 18) percent.
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