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Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS:

1. What is SURVCAN-3?
SURVCAN-3 is the third initiative to produce reliable and comparable survival statistics for countries in transition, expanding the coverage area of previous projects (http://survcan.iarc.fr/). In addition to providing survival estimates for benchmarking purposes in countries in transition, SURVCAN-3 aims to enhance registries’ expertise in collecting the local data needed to better inform local cancer care, as well as to support the local capacity to perform survival analyses.

2. What is unique about SURVCAN-3?
SURVCAN-3 is unique because not only does the project produce survival statistics from cancer registries worldwide, but we also work directly with the participating cancer registries in order to improve their abilities to collect survival data and undertake survival analyses. By including this element of capacity building as one of the main goals of SURVCAN-3, we continue to increase the availability of high-quality data that can inform cancer control and reduce the cancer burden in these regions.

3. Is SURVCAN-3 only for registries in low- and middle-income countries?
No – An important purpose of SURVCAN-3 is to benchmark cancer survival in low- and middle-income countries against that in high-income countries in the same regions. Therefore, it is essential that cancer registries from high-income countries also participate in SURVCAN-3 so that we can improve cancer outcomes in the more developing world.

4. How can we learn to perform survival analyses so that we can undertake these analyses in the future?
An integral purpose of SURVCAN-3 is to enhance registries’ expertise in collecting the local data needed to participate in the project. We will also support the local capacity to perform survival analyses in the registry through fellowships and courses. For more information on capacity building within the framework of SURVCAN-3, click here.

TECHNICAL QUESTIONS:

1. Our registry only has high-quality survival data for some cancer types. Can we still contribute to SURVCAN-3?
Yes – Although we are interested in all cancer types, participating registries are not required to submit data for all cancer types if the data for some types is known not to be of sufficient quality. If this is applicable for your registry, please notify us at survival@iarc.fr and we will work with you to determine the best way for your cancer registry to participate in SURVCAN-3.

2. Our registry only has survival data for a portion of the years covered by SURVCAN-3. Can we still contribute?
Yes – Data from only a subset of the diagnosis period being assessed (2006–2012) can be submitted. If this is applicable for your registry, please notify us at survival@iarc.fr.

3. Our registry only has survival data for a subpopulation of individuals (e.g. only local residents). Is this a problem?
No – This is not necessarily a problem. Please contact us at survival@iarc.fr and we will work with you to better understand the available data and how they can be used in SURVCAN-3.

4. What follow-up information is needed to participate in SURVCAN-3?
The follow-up information necessary for the survival analyses in SURVCAN-3 is vital status (i.e. alive or dead from any cause) and date of death.

COLLABORATIVE QUESTIONS:

1. The deadline noted in the call for data has passed. Is it still possible for our registry to participate?
Yes – Please contact us at survival@iarc.fr and we will work with you to determine whether your data can be included in the SURVCAN-3 study.

2. We would like to participate in SURVCAN-3. Who should we contact?
Please contact the SURVCAN-3 team at survival@iarc.fr.

3. Can IARC answer SURVCAN queries in languages other than English?
Yes – We would be very happy to discuss SURVCAN-3 with you in any of the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Glossary

POPULATION-BASED CANCER REGISTRY:

Population-based cancer registries (PBCRs) are a core component of cancer control strategy. A PBCR systematically collects information from multiple sources on all reportable neoplasms occurring in a geographically defined population. The purpose of a PBCR is to provide information on cancer burden and to assess possible causes of cancer in the community, as well as to carry out studies on prevention, early detection and screening, and cancer care. PBCRs provide an unbiased profile of the cancer burden in the population and how it changes over time, and therefore play a unique role in the planning and evaluation of cancer control programmes. You can read more about our global efforts to help implement and develop cancer registries through the GICR, a multi-partner collaborative project, at the GICR website.

POPULATION AT RISK:

The population at risk includes all individuals susceptible to the occurrence of a given event (e.g. a specific cancer). It is defined on the basis of demographic variables, such as place of residence, sex, age group, and (where appropriate) ethnicity.

INCIDENCE:

Cancer incidence is the number of new cancer cases arising in a specified population over a given period of time (typically 1 year). It can be expressed as an absolute number of cases within the entire population per year or as a rate per 100 000 persons per year. Incidence information is routinely collected by cancer registries.

MORTALITY:

Cancer mortality is the number of deaths due to cancer occurring in a specified population over a given period of time (typically 1 year). It can be expressed as an absolute number of deaths within the entire population per year or as a rate per 100 000 persons per year. Mortality data are typically provided by national statistical offices.

SURVIVAL:

Cancer survival is the probability of survival after a given period of time since the diagnosis of cancer; 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates are commonly reported. In particular, net cancer survival is the probability of surviving cancer in the absence of other causes of death. Because net cancer survival is not influenced by changes in mortality from other causes, it is a particularly useful measure for comparing survival across time and between registries.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact the SURVCAN-3 team at survival@iarc.fr. Be sure to include "SURVCAN-3" in the subject line.




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