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Statistical Methods

Incidence and Death Rates
Ideally, crude, age-adjusted, and age-specific rates are used to plan for population-based cancer prevention and control interventions.

Confidence Intervals
Confidence intervals reflect the range of variation in the estimation of the cancer rates. The width of a confidence interval depends on the amount of variability in the data.

Relative Cancer Survival
Surveillance of cancer incidence and survival are essential in monitoring and understanding CDC’s efforts to support the needs of cancer survivors.

Suppression of Rates and Counts
When the numbers of cases or deaths used to compute rates are small, those rates tend to have poor reliability. Another important reason for using a threshold value for suppressing cells is to protect the confidentiality of patients whose data are included in a report by reducing or eliminating the risk of disclosing their identity.