Cancer is a devastating disease that can occur throughout the body. However, given the advancement in medicine, there are certain procedures that can help increase a person’s chance of surviving a particular type of cancer. Whenever a cancer has been detected, it is required that the physician input the patient information in one of the national cancer registries. The two main U.S. databases include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER). This information helps epidemiologists and others determine the prevalence, morbidity, and mortality of a particular type of cancer as well as cancer survivorship.
For this assignment, you will use Fast Stats, an interactive tool that allows for quick access to national cancer statistics provided by the SEER program. Follow the steps below to collect data so you can complete a cancer profile for a particular type of cancer:
- From the Fast Stats homepage, click the Race/Sex link which is located under and to the right of the “View Statistics Comparing…” heading.
- On the next screen, under “Compare Statistics by Race/Sex: Step 1”:
- Choose SEER Survival for the Data Type
- Choose Relative Survival by Survival Time for the Statistic Type
- Choose 1992-2009 for Year Range
- Select a particular type of cancer of interest to you for Cancer Site, and Sub-site.
- Initially, select All Ages for Age Rangeou will compare these variables for your cancer profile. The type of cancer will remain constant.
- For Step 2, select the gender/race/ethnicity combinations of particular interest to you.
- Now, click Get Data; a table of relative survival by survival time will appear, with relevant cancer survival statistics for the gender/race/ethnicity subgroups you have selected.
- Return to the previous webpage (by clicking the back arrow on your web browser), and keep everything unchanged, except for Step 3. This time, select Graph instead and click Get Data. A survival curve will appear; this is a graphical representation of the survival table you had previously requested.
- Decide which data display is more useful for you, the table or the graph. You can download the table by clicking on the Download Data link in the upper right-hand corner of the survival table. Alternatively, you can download the survival graph by clicking the Download Image link in the upper right-hand corner of the survival graph. The downloaded survival table will be a .csv file, which you can open in Excel. The downloaded survival graph will be a .jpg file which will open in Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, and can be exported from there.
- To complete your cancer profile, you will repeat the above steps, except you will follow these modifications at Step 1:
- For Statistic Type, choose 5-Year Relative Survival by Year Dx
- For Year Range, choose 1975-2005 As before, compare the table and graphical representations of the output, and export the representation that is most useful to you. If you are interested in particular ages, you can repeat your analyses by selecting that Age Range under Step 1 in further data queries.
Submit a four- to seven-page Word document or four- to seven-slide PowerPoint presentation (excluding title and reference pages/slides) that profiles the type of cancer you selected. Your profile should include an introduction and conclusion, as well as correct APA citations for any resources used. It must contain a brief synopsis of the type of cancer as well as statistics on gender, age, and race/ethnicity.
Address the following in your profile:
- Describe your data and give a brief synopsis of the type of cancer you selected.
- Give the current survival rates for your selected cancer.
- Do survival rates for your selected cancer differ by race/ethnicity or gender (or age)? If so, what are those differences?
- How has relative survival (5-year survival) changed over the years? What inferences can you draw from these time trends (or the absence of time trends)?
- Are there procedures available that can help improve a person’s chance of survival for the cancer you selected?
- List at least one risk factor that has been found to be associated with this cancer.
- Additionally, use the National Cancer Institutes’ State Cancer Profiles interactive tool to determine the prevalence of your selected cancer type across the United States.
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