Methods and Tools: Prevalence of Cancer
Prevalence is a statistic of primary interest in public health because it identifies the level of burden of disease or health-related events on the population and health care system. Prevalence represents new and preexisting cases alive on a certain date. In contrast, incidence reflects new cases of a condition diagnosed during a given period of time. Prevalence is a function of both the incidence of the disease and survival.
More information about cancer prevalence estimates and available statistics can be accessed from the Overview of Cancer Prevalence Statistics:
- Limited Duration Prevalence, currently in SEER*Stat, represents the proportion of people alive on a certain day who had a diagnosis of the disease within the past x years.
- Complete Prevalence - Represents the proportion of people alive on a certain day who previously had a diagnosis of the disease, regardless of how long ago the cancer was diagnosed. A patient is still considered prevalent regardless of whether they are currently under treatment or considered cured.
ComPrev - Complete Prevalence Software
The ComPrev software calculates complete prevalence estimates, based on limited-duration prevalence statistics calculated on SEER cancer data.
ProjPrev - Projected Prevalence Sofware
The ProjPrev software combines populations and prevalence proportions to obtain/project new prevalence proportions. This software is useful to obtain US prevalence proportions for all races combined from race-specific SEER prevalence proportions and race-specific US populations.