National Cancer Institute SEER Cancer Statistics Review: 2015 Updates

The NCI published updated SEER Cancer Statistics data today, April 23, 2015. The data is now current through 2012. SEER stands for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program.  The SEER cancer statistics review is a report of, “the most recent cancer incidence, mortality, survival, prevalence, and lifetime risk statistics.”

This data is helpful in tracking population trends in cancer and for learning more about how our country is doing at diagnosing and managing cancer.  SEER data is very interesting for those in oncology sales and marketing, as this data can be used to target messaging, identify market potential and identify areas where clinical utility of a product is succeeding or failing. The new SEER data suggests that 1,658,370 new cancer diagnoses will occur in the U.S. in 2015, with 66.5% of all cancer patients surviving 5 years or more. These statistics are inclusive of all cancer sites that SEER registries track.

Common Types of Cancer Estimated New
Cases 2015
Deaths 2015
1. Breast Cancer (Female) 231,840 40,290
2. Lung and Bronchus Cancer 221,200 158,040
3. Prostate Cancer 220,800 27,540
4. Colon and Rectum Cancer 132,700 49,700
5. Bladder Cancer 74,000 16,000
6. Melanoma of the Skin 73,870 9,940
7. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 71,850 19,790
8. Thyroid Cancer 62,450 1,950
9. Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer 61,560 14,080
10. Endometrial Cancer 54,870 10,170
 All Cancer Sites 1,658,370 589,430

SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: All Cancer Sites. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD,

An overall glance at the SEER statistics shows the following :

  1. Based on 2010-2012 data, roughly 39.6 percent of men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime.
  2. The number of new cases for all cancer sites tracked by SEER data has been falling every year for the last 10 years at a rate of 0.9%, however, death rates have remained stable.
  3. The mean age of diagnosis for all cancer sites is 65, with most of the population diagnosed between ages 65-74.

NCI SEER data update 2015
SEER data is collected via population health registries located throughout the country and aggregates the following data:

  • Patient Demographics
  • Primary Tumor Site
  • Tumor Morphology
  • Extent of Disease
  • First Course of Treatment
  • Active follow up

A list of the population health SEER registries can be found here.

This data is divided into cancer site specific groupings and further detail is provided:

  • Cancer Incidence
  • Mortality Rate
  • Survival
  • Prevalence
  • Sex, age, ethnicity
  • Staging
  • Geographic area

SEER data can be examined from many different perspectives using free interactive tools available on the NCI website, including age of diagnosis, ethnicity, geographical location (down to the county!), physical location on the body, mortality rate, etc.  The Fact Sheets provided by NCI are really interesting and give a great overview, with nice visual. NCI SEER data can be followed on Twitter using @NCICancerStats. Updates are published annually and the data is available to the public at all times.



Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Garshell J, Miller D, Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z,Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2012, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD,, based on November 2014 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2015.


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