Skip to Content

Temporal Trends in Second Cancer Risks Based on SEER Data

It is estimated that more than 12 million cancer survivors are currently alive in the United States, which has led to an increasing focus on the long-term outcome of cancer treatment. DCEG has a long-standing interest in cancer survivorship research, particularly the role of radiation, chemotherapy, and hormonal treatments in second cancer risk. DCEG investigators monitor NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registry database to assess patterns and trends in the occurrence of second primary cancers. The overall objective is to identify cancer survivors who appear to be at increased risk for developing second primary cancers. These survivors can then be targeted for increased surveillance and primary and secondary prevention strategies, as well as identifying areas that require additional analytic study.

To facilitate research into the etiology of second cancers, investigators from DCEG's Radiation Epidemiology Branch led the development of an interactive PC-based software module (“SIR”) to perform analyses of multiple primary cancers using NCI’s SEER database. The analysis module was added to the SEER*Stat program, a publicly available software package created by NCI that calculates SEER incidence, mortality, and survival rates (http://seer.cancer.gov/seerstat/). The multiple primary cancer module calculates standardized incidence ratios by second cancer site, histology, treatment, sex, race, calendar year, age, time since diagnosis, and registry. DCEG researchers have used this software tool to evaluate the risk of second cancers in SEER among survivors of a number of malignancies, including breast cancer, childhood cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 

For more information, contact Lindsay Morton.