Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER), Cancer Incidence Public-Use Database

Topic/focus: Disease - Specific / Registry
Year(s): 1973 - present
Source: National Cancer Institute
Study and sample characteristics: Medical records
Universe: Incidences of all types of cancer in selected catchment areas
Variables: 60+
Access: Requires registration and data use agreement
Cost: Free
Key web links: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)
Primary Institutional Contact: EDRC Coordinator (

Summary: NCI's SEER database is a cumulative collection of cancer incidence and survival data from 11 population-based cancer registries covering approximately 14 percent of the U.S. population. Registry catchment areas were selected based on their ability to operate and maintain a high quality population-based cancer reporting system and for their epidemiologically significant population subgroups. SEER's population is comparable to the general U.S. population with regard to measures of poverty and education, but the SEER population tends to be somewhat more urban and has a higher proportion of foreign-born persons. As of 1996, information on more than 2.3 million in situ and invasive cancer cases is included in the SEER database, and approximately 160,000 new cases are accessioned each year. The SEER registries routinely collect data on patient demographics, primary tumor site, morphology, stage at diagnosis, first course of treatment, and follow-up for vital status.