This measure is tracked with a calculation commonly referred to as the relative survival rate. The relative survival rate is calculated using a procedure whereby the observed survival rate is adjusted for expected mortality. The relative survival rate represents the likelihood that a patient will not die from causes associated specifically with the given cancer before some specified time (usually 5 years) after diagnosis.
To calculate the relative survival rate, the observed survival rate is divided by the expected survival rate. The observed survival rate is based on all causes of death; no one is excluded. Individuals lost to follow up are censored. The expected survival rate is based on life tables of surviving 5 years in the general population based on age (single year), race, sex, and year of diagnosis (1970, 1980, 1990) of the cohort of cancer patients. This calculation is used so that one does not have to depend on the accuracy and completeness of the cause of death information in order to calculate the effect of the cancer.
Data for this objective are calculated based on patients diagnosed in the 5-year period immediately preceding a given year year and followed up through that year. For example, the 2007 survival rates used in the baseline are based on patients diagnosed in the 5 year period before 2007 (2002-2006) and followed up through 2007.
Survival rates are from the SEER program. They are based on data from population-based registries in the SEER 17 areas (San Francisco, Connecticut, Detroit, Hawaii, Iowa, New Mexico, Seattle, Utah, Atlanta, San Jose-Monterey, Los Angeles, Alaska Native Registry, Rural Georgia, California excluding San Francisco/San Jose-Monterey/Los Angeles, Kentucky, Louisiana and New Jersey).