DevCan - Probability of Developing or Dying of Cancer

Statistical models are used to compute the probability of being diagnosed or dying of cancer from birth or conditional on a certain age. DevCan takes cross-sectional counts of incident cases from the standard areas of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program conducted by the National Cancer Institute, and mortality counts for the same areas from data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, and uses them to calculate incidence and mortality rates using population estimates from census data for these areas. These rates are converted to the probabilities of developing or dying from cancer for a hypothetical population. Please note that when the program refers to cancer or incidence, it is referring only to the cancer site that you requested.

DevCan 6.7.7 is the current version of the software (released April 2019). It supports rate editing, sensitivity analysis, user-defined databases, confidence intervals, and the ability to get risk estimates from any age to any age. All revisions made for the current release of the software are listed in readme.txt. The methods section provides information about the methods used in DevCan including a comparison to methods used in previous versions.

This version of DevCan includes the following two incidence databases with matching US mortality data, and a US mortality database for calculating probability of dying:

  • SEER 21 incidence database for 2000-2016 with with Kaposi Sarcoma and Mesothelioma classified as individual sites. This database includes detailed racial and ethnic data
  • SEER 9 incidence database for 1975-2016 with follow-back to 1975.
  • Total US mortality data for 2000-2016 with Kaposi Sarcoma and Mesothelioma classified as individual sites. This database includes detailed racial and ethnic data.

Additional DevCan databases are available as downloadable DevCan databases. If you have data formatted for versions 4.x of DevCan, a conversion utility is available to change the format of the database to one readable by the current version (refer to FAQ #6)

Statistics related to lifetime risks are available from a variety of sources and there are several tools available for finding or calculating statistics.

  • SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016 includes Lifetime Risk Tables (PDF) , by cancer site, showing the probability (expressed as a percent) of a person of a specified race, sex, and age (0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60) being diagnosed with the specified cancer within the next 10, 20, or 30 years or within their remaining lifetime.
  • SEER*Explorer - graphs and tables for many cancer sites by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and data type.
  • Know Your Chances website presents interactive risk charts to put chances of dying from cancer and other diseases in context.
  • Cancer Query System: Probability of Developing or Dying of Cancer provides access to a database of pre-calculated statistics; this allows you to view these statistics without downloading and installing DevCan. The DevCan software provides greater flexibility than this online database, including the ability to analyze your own cancer data.
  • DevCan is PC-based statistical software used to calculate the lifetime risks of being diagnosed with or dying of cancer.