Cancer Survival Statistics

There are several measures of cancer survival, depending on the question one wants to answer. Relative survival is an estimate of the percentage of patients who would be expected to survive the effects of their cancer. It excludes the risk of dying from other causes. Observed survival is the actual percentage of patients still alive at some specified time after diagnosis of cancer. It considers deaths from all causes, cancer or otherwise, and is sometimes called all-cause survival. Overview of Population-based Cancer Survival Statistics describes the methodologies involved in calculating cancer survival statistics.

Reports and Monographs

Numerous methods and measures of cancer survival for cancer registry data have been developed, but not all are well known or in common use. Cancer Survival From a Policy and Clinical Perspective: US Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, 1975-2010 introduces these cancer registry survival measures to a broad audience. To make the measures more accessible, the authors minimize technical language, provide explanations, suggest when to use the measures, and describe caveats for their interpretation.

The SEER Cancer Statistics Review (CSR), 1975-2017 includes tables and figures showing 5-year Survival (PDF) and Relative Survival by Year of Diagnosis (PDF) which include rates by race, sex, age, and year of diagnosis for the major cancer sites and for all cancers combined.

SEER Statistical Publications provide other survival reports on relevant topics such as socioeconomic variations for prostate cancer, racial/ethnic patterns, and childhood cancers. These include older, archived publications.

Interactive Tools for Accessing Precalculated Survival Statistics

SEER*Explorer is an interactive website that provides easy access to a wide range of SEER cancer statistics. It provides detailed statistics for a cancer site by sex, race, calendar year, age, and for a selected number of cancer sites, by stage and histology.

Cancer Query Systems: SEER Survival Statistics is a Web-based program that allows you to select pre-defined statistics by defining various parameters.

Last Updated: 15 Apr, 2020