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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.

Cancer Prevalence

Prevalence helps identify the level of burden of disease on the population and health care system. It is a function of both incidence and survival.

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.