Early estimates of SEER cancer incidence for 2012: Approaches, opportunities, and cautions for obtaining preliminary estimates of cancer incidence.

Author(s): Lewis DR,  Chen HS,  Midthune DN,  Cronin KA,  Krapcho MF,  Feuer EJ

Journal: Cancer

Date: 2015 Jun 15

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): BRG

PubMed ID: 25739953

PMC ID: PMC4457672

Abstract: BACKGROUND: The National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program collects and publishes population-based cancer incidence data from registries covering approximately 28% ( of the US population. SEER incidence rates are released annually in April from data submitted the prior November. The time needed to identify, consolidate, clean, and submit data requires the latest diagnosis year included to be 3 years before release. Approaches, opportunities, and cautions for an earlier release of data based on a February submission are described. METHODS: First, cases submitted in February for the latest diagnosis year represented 92% to 98% of those in the following November submission. A reporting delay model was used to statistically adjust counts in recent diagnosis years for cases projected in the future. February submissions required larger adjustment factors than November submissions. Second, trends were checked to assess the validity. RESULTS: Most cancer sites had similar annual percent change (APC) trends for February and November 2013. Male colon and rectum cancer and female lung and bronchus cancer showed an acceleration in declining APC trends only in February. Average annual percent change (AAPC) trends for the 2 submissions were similar for all sites. CONCLUSIONS: For the first time, preliminary 2012 incidence rates, based on February submissions, are provided. An accelerated decline starting in 2008 for male colon and rectum cancer rates and male lung cancer rates did not persist when 2012 data were added. An earlier release of SEER data is possible. Caution must be exercised when one is interpreting changing trends. Use of the more conservative AAPC is advised.