Analysing population-based cancer survival - settling the controversies.

Pohar Perme, M; Estève, J; Rachet, B; (2016) Analysing population-based cancer survival - settling the controversies. BMC cancer, 16 (1). p. 933. ISSN 1471-2407 DOI:

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The relative survival field has seen a lot of development in the last decade, resulting in many different and even opposing suggestions on how to approach the analysis. We carefully define and explain the differences between the various measures of survival (overall survival, crude mortality, net survival and relative survival ratio) and study their differences using colon and prostate cancer data extracted from the national population-based cancer registry of Slovenia as well as simulated data. The colon and prostate cancer data demonstrate clearly that when analysing population-based data, it is useful to split the overall mortality in crude probabilities of dying from cancer and from other causes. Complemented by net survival, it provides a complete picture of cancer survival in a given population. But when comparisons of different populations as defined for example by place or time are of interest, our simulated data demonstrate that net survival is the only measure to be used. The choice of the method should be done in two steps: first, one should determine the measure of interest and second, one should choose among the methods that estimate that measure consistently.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Cancer Survival Group
Centre for Statistical Methodology
Related URLs:
PubMed ID: 27912732


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