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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

High Risk from High-Impact Papers: Rising Rates of Gastric Cancer among Young Whites - William Anderson, M.D., M.P.H.

DCEG Descriptive Epidemiology Seminar Series

William Anderson

William Anderson


William F. Anderson, M.D., M.P.H., senior investigator in the Biostatistics Branch

‘Inconvenient Truths’ in Descriptive Epidemiology are robust population-based observations without an obvious cause. In 2010, rising noncardia gastric cancer incidence rates were noted among young whites in SEER’s 9 Registries Database. The observation was criticized for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the fact that it was unexpected and had no known etiologic mechanism. However, recent analyses confirm and extend the original observation in both SEER and NAACCR Databases.

Using this study as an example of problems common to many descriptive analyses, the presentation will illustrate the importance of diligent surveillance along with the advantages of:

  1. Using advanced age-period-cohort models to supplement standard descriptive techniques 
  2. Distinguishing secular trends due to age-interactions over time (i.e., generational or birth-cohort effects) from calendar-period effects
  3. Analyzing gender, racial, and ethnic groups separately
  4. Forecasting future gastric cancer trends

For more information, contact Meredith Shiels, Ph.D.