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April 7, 1993

Statisticians Offer Overall Incidence Estimates for Various Kinds of Cancer During This Year

JAMA. 1993;269(13):1611. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500130025006

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NEARLY 2 MILLION persons in this country probably will be informed by a physician this year that they have some form of cancer. More than 700 000 of these new diagnoses are likely to involve skin cancers.

However, there are caveats. There is no nationwide cancer registry, so the Atlanta (Ga)-based American Cancer Society—which is making the above projection—concedes that "there is no way of knowing exactly how many new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year."

The society, which held its 35th science writers seminar last week in San Diego, Calif, bases its estimates on incidence rates obtained through the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program of the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md, "applied to the US census estimates of population for the current year." The society cautions that "it is not appropriate or accurate to evaluate cancer incidence and mortality trends using only American Cancer Society estimates