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Cancer Surveillance and Epidemiology in the United States and Puerto Rico, 1973-1977 (ICPSR 8001)

Principal Investigator(s): National Cancer Institute


This dataset was produced as part of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program to monitor the incidence of cancer and cancer survival rates in the United States, thus carrying out the mandates of the National Cancer Act. The SEER Program had several objectives: to estimate the annual cancer incidence in the United States, to examine trends in cancer patient survival, to identify cancer etiologic factors, and to monitor trends in the incidence of cancer in selected geographic areas with respect to demographic and social characteristics. Data collection began in 1973, and by 1977 had a population base of 11 geographic areas in the United States and Puerto Rico. SEER variables include patient demographic information (age, sex, race, birthplace, marital status, census tract) and information on cancer, which was gathered from hospitals, clinics, private laboratories, private practitioners, nursing/convalescent homes, autopsies, and death certificates. The medical data cover histologic type, anatomic site, laterality, multiplicity within primary site at first diagnosis, diagnostic procedures, diagnostic confirmation, sequence of the tumor, extent of the disease, treatment of the lesion, and outcome.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging

    This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).


DS1:  Data - Download All Files (25.388 MB)
DS2:  Frequencies
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Study Description


National Cancer Institute. CANCER SURVEILLANCE AND EPIDEMIOLOGY IN THE UNITED STATES AND PUERTO RICO, 1973-1977. ICPSR08001-v2. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute [producer], 1979. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    cancer, demographic characteristics, disease, epidemiology, medical evaluation, morbidity, mortality rates

Geographic Coverage:    Puerto Rico, United States, Global

Time Period:   

  • 1973--1977

Date of Collection:   

  • 1973--1977

Universe:    Cancer patients diagnosed each year, and cumulatively, over the five-year period 1973-1977, in the United States.

Data Type(s):    clinical data, and administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

The age at first diagnosis was 0-18 years (N = 5,212), 19-34 years (N = 26,366), 35-54 years (N = 78,428), 55-64 years (N = 88,426), 65-74 years (N = 95,619), 75-84 years (N = 66,327), and 85+ years (N = 20,648).


Sample:    The registry, by 1977, encompassed 12 percent of the United States population and collected data on 100 percent of cancer diagnoses in 11 SEER locales: six states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, New Mexico, Utah), four metropolitan areas (Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle-Puget Sound, and San Francisco-Oakland), and Puerto Rico.

Data Source:

hospital, laboratory, and radiotherapy unit records, death certificates, and tumor registries

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-03

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