Available Cancer Prevalence Statistics

Pre-calculated prevalence statistics are available from the following sources:

Types of Prevalence Estimates

The most recent estimates provided by SEER are for January 1, 2017 prevalence.

Complete US prevalence estimated counts.
The US prevalence counts were estimated by applying SEER limited-duration prevalence proportions to the US populations and adjusting the limited-duration counts to account for survivors diagnosed prior to 1992, using the completeness index method. To account for demographic differences between the US and SEER, US counts were calculated as follows:
  • Age at Prevalence - All Ages was obtained by summing the 19 individual age groups.
  • Sex - Both Sexes was obtained by summing Male and Female.
  • Race/Ethnicity - All Races was obtained by summing White and Unknown, Black, and Other. Total Hispanics was obtained by summing the Non-white Hispanic and Other (White and Unknown) Hispanic.
Limited-duration prevalence estimates (percents and counts).
Limited-duration prevalence estimates were calculated using the counting method using SEER data. Because the number of registries that participate with SEER has changed over the years, different limited-duration prevalence statistics were calculated for different groups of SEER registries.
  • SEER 9 limited-duration prevalence percentages for race (All races, Whites, Blacks). This includes 42-year limited-duration prevalence, as well as partitioned into prevalence estimates for people diagnosed 0 to < 5, 5 to < 10, 10 to < 15, 15 to < 20, 20 to < 25, 25 to < 30, 30 to <35, and 35 to <40 years prior to January 1, 2017.
  • SEER 13 (excluding Alaska Native Tumor Registry) prevalence percentages by race (All races, Whites, Blacks, Asian/Pacific Islanders). 25-year limited-duration prevalence, as well as partitioned into prevalence estimates for people diagnosed 0 to < 5, 5 to < 10, 10 to <15, 15 to <20, and 20 to <25 years prior to January 1, 2017.
  • SEER 13 (excluding Alaska Native Tumor Registry) prevalence percentages for Hispanics by race (Total Hispanic, White Hispanic). 25-year limited-duration prevalence, as well as partitioned into prevalence estimates for people diagnosed 0 to < 5, 5 to < 10, 10 to <15, and 15 to <20 years prior to January 1, 2017.
  • US limited-duration prevalence counts are available from SEER 13 (excluding Alaska Native Tumor Registry) by race (All Races, Whites, Blacks, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Total Hispanic, and White Hispanic).
The standard method used to calculate limited-duration prevalence is First Malignant Tumor Ever. The advantage of identifying cancer survivors by only their first malignant tumor is that we only count each person once. Other methods of tumor inclusion are First Malignant Tumor per Site in the Last x Years, and First Malignant Tumors per Site and Years of Diagnosis. Prevalence statistics for different tumor inclusion criteria are available at Table I-17 of the Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2017 (PDF) .

Limitations for using cancer registry data to estimate prevalence

  • SEER prevalence proportions may not be representative of US prevalence. Projecting race- and age-specific SEER prevalence proportions to the US population does not account for other differences between SEER and US, such as socioeconomic status, that may affect prevalence proportions.
  • Immigration and emigration of cancer patients may cause biases in the estimation of prevalence. Cancer registries only include cancers which were diagnosed while the person was in residence in the registry catchment area. If a person is diagnosed with cancer in a registry area and then moves, follow-up for vital status (i.e. dead, alive) is tracked no matter where they move. For example:
    • If a person moved into a registry area with a prior diagnosis of cancer, this cancer would not be included in the registry, but should be included in the prevalence statistics.
    • If a person with cancer moved out of a registry area they would be included in the registry, but should not be included in the prevalence estimates.
Last Updated: 15 Apr, 2020