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Additional Considerations for Survival Analysis

Additional Considerations for Survival Analysis

Some cancer survival rates may be affected by various biases related to cancer screening (for example, a new screening test may diagnose the cancer earlier, leading to an apparent longer survival time, even if the survival from the time it would have been diagnosed is unchanged). For this reason, we also present relative survival rates by stage at diagnosis for cancer sites likely to be diagnosed early by screening programs. In addition, many types of cancer are more common among smokers, who themselves have a higher death rate than the general population. Therefore, the relative survival tables used may overestimate the expected survival from what a life table for just smokers would provide. This may be another rationale for using cause-specific survival for Texas residents since we do not need Texas-specific life tables (which are not available) to adjust those survival rates. 

Survival rates may also vary by type of cancer, hence All Sites survival is affected by the particular site distribution in the population group examined. They may also vary by comorbid conditions, overall health, or any other disease risk factors (smoking, drinking, diet, exercise, occupation, etc.). Therefore, caution must be exercised when comparing survival rates.


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Last updated March 29, 2019