About CancerSurvivalRates.com

CancerSurvivalRates.com is for anyone who is seeking information about cancer survival rates. This includes patients, family members, friends, physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals.

We also help patients with the right questions to ask their doctor. 

Likewise, we also help physicians with tools for discussing prognosis with patients.

 

This really depends on why you are visiting our site.  Many people don't receive survival information from their physicians because they didn't ask or the information wasn't offered. 

As such we provide a private, anonymous service for patients who want to get reliable, personalized survival rate information.  By personalized, we mean the survival rate of a particular cancer based upon the survival rates of others with a similar age, sex, stage, and/or grade.

In short there are many reasons for understanding survival rates and could be very personal in nature.  From planning to the future (such as an advanced directive or will) to making immediate treatment decisions, we want patients who want reliable survival rates to get this information as quickly and easily as possible.

Ultimately we want to help facilitate a more meaningful converstation between patients and doctors.

 

Courage Health is a team of experienced healthcare entrepreneurs, technologists, physicians, and industry experts.

We created CancerSurvivalRates.com because we wanted to provide easier access to information. Too many people are searching for information and getting lost or confused. 

Our goal was to make it easy to get specific, more personalized survival rate information.

Yes. We use only one, highly trusted and reputable source of information to produce survival rates: The U.S. NIH's National Cancer Institute's SEER database. It has been used by countless researchers and physicians for several decades.

Our statistical processes are performed by a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

Our physician advisors in oncology are board-certified and employed by well-known medical institutions in the U.S.

We do not provide survival estimates for any specific individual or provide medical advice. We provide survival rates based upon past cases of cancer over the last 10-12 years. We say they are personalized because you can compare what happened to people that may have a similar profile with respect to age, sex, stage, and/or grade of cancer.

We encourage all users of our site to ask their doctor about what they think about their individual case.

Using CancerSurvivalRates.com

Our site provides survival rate for 39 types of cancer. You can select cancer type on our home page or using the drop-down menu at the top of the screen. It is advisable that you check with your physician if you're unsure about your cancer type.

We have 5 "other types" of cancer for cancers that are different than the more common type of cancer. For example, we provide information on melanoma as well as "other skin cancer".

It is important to look through the other cancer types if your type is less common.

The survival rate is the percentage of people who survived the specified time period. So if 10 people were diagnosed on January 1, 2010 the survival rate would be the number of people still alive on January 1, 2015. If that number was 9, the survival rate would be 90%.

We calculate "relative" survival rates which means deaths from causes other than cancer are excluded.

Further, when using the date diagnosed, the survival rate is adjusted. This is termed "conditional survival" as it factors in how long you've survived with cancer.

Click or tap on the part of the screen that displays "5 year" with the carat next to it. You can select 5 year, 2 year, or 1 year survival rates.

By using the buttons below the survival rate percentage and hearts, you can see how the rates change for a different profile. Rates vary considerably by age/sex/grade/stage (if applicable).

If you're not sure about your stage and/or grade, you can use the buttons to see the differences.

Just ask! Either save this screen on your phone or remember them when meeting with your doctor. You may even be able to email or message your doctor.

The point of the questions is to help you to start a conversation. You can even say "I was looking at this site, CancerSurvivalRates.com and it said to ask you about my survival rate. What do you think?"

Technical Questions

We start by obtaining de-identified medical records of people who have been diagnosed with cancer over the last fifteen or so years.  As such we can see which patients survived after 1, 2, or 5 years. The database with all records is from NIH-NCI-SEER, the well known repository of cancer cases from local registries.

We calcuate cause specific cancer survival rates.   This means that we only calcuate mortality/survival rates where the patient's cause of death was from the specified cancer type. For more information about cause-specific cancer rates see this paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6143929/

All specific estimates are made using statistical models known as Cox Proportional Hazard models. They are the most commonly used statistical method for calculating survival probabilities.

All data to build estimates comes from the U.S. National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute's SEER Program. SEER 18 databases contain approximately 34.6% of all cancer cases.

For more information: https://seer.cancer.gov/data/

Our statistical models use cases from 2006-2011.

We worked with a team of experts at UCSD Moores Cancer Center to group histology codes (ICD-0-3) into the displayed groupings.  We can provide specific codes upon request.

Using SEER has several limitations:

The data lags by a few years.  As such in calculating 5 year survival rates we combine cases from 2006-2011 in order to have an adequate observation window. 

The data will not include treatments and therapies made available in the last 3-5 years.

We combine all facilties in calculation of survival rates.  Thus, if patients are being treated at regional cancer center, outcomes may be different than at larger academic cancer center.

Yes.  Courage Health can provide the information from our models or embed our interface in your site, or EMR.