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Care and Cure Prevalence

Prevalence estimates calculated from cancer registry data consider all patients previously diagnosed with cancer and alive at the prevalence date irrespective of whether the patient is under treatment or is considered cured. This use of the term prevalence may be justified because treatment for the disease (e.g., surgery or radiation) may lead to long-term or permanent mental and physical impairment, as well as changes in one's socioeconomic and cultural status. However, the definition may also be used simply because of the difficulty of determining when a person is cured or when, using population-based data, treatment ends.

Care Prevalence

Care Prevalence is an estimate of prevalent cases that are still under care. Since population-based cancer data does not include follow-up information on cancer care, estimation of care prevalence is problematic. The SEER-Medicare linked dataExternal Web Site Policy allow for longitudinal tracing of individuals with cancer using information from the Medicare claims. Mariotto et al., (2003) have estimated the prevalence of patients with colorectal cancer age 65 and older who are under care in the US.

Non-cure Prevalence

Non-cure Prevalence is an estimate of prevalent cases that have not been cured of disease. Statistical approaches (e.g. assuming survival models which are a mixture of cured and uncured patients) have been applied to model cure prevalence. (See Capocaccia & De Angelis, 1997; Coldman et al., 1992)