Record Details

Title The occurrence of rare cancers in U.S. adults, 1995-2004
Author Greenlee, RT
Secondary Authors Goodman MT, Lynch CF, Platz CE, Havener LA, Howe HL
Publication Type (Help) article
Journal Public Health Rep
Month Jan-Feb
Year 2010
Pages 28-43
Volume 125
Number 1
PubMed ID 20402194
EPub Date
Citation Greenlee RT, Goodman MT, Lynch CF, Platz CE, Havener LA, Howe HL. The occurrence of rare cancers in U.S. adults, 1995-2004. Public Health Rep. 2010 Jan-Feb;125(1):28-43. PMID 20402194. []


Rare cancers have been traditionally understudied, reducing the progress of research and hindering decisions for patients, physicians, and policy makers. The descriptive epidemiology of rare cancers was evaluated using a large, representative, population-based dataset from cancer registries in the United States. More than 9 million adult cancers diagnosed from 1995 to 2004 in 39 states and two metropolitan areas were analyzed using the Cancer in North America (CINA) dataset, which covers approximately 80% of the U.S. population. The authors applied an accepted cancer classification scheme and a published definition of rare (i.e., fewer than 15 cases per 100,000 per year). Age-adjusted incidence rates and rare/non-rare incidence rate ratios were calculated using SEER*Stat software, with analyses stratified by gender, age, race/ethnicity, and histology. Sixty of 71 cancer types were rare, accounting for 25% of all adult tumors. Rare cancers occurred with greater relative frequency among those who were younger, nonwhite, and of Hispanic ethnicity than among their older, white, or non-Hispanic counterparts. Collectively, rare tumors account for a sizable portion of adult cancers, and disproportionately affect some demographic groups. Maturing population-based cancer surveillance data can be an important source for research on rare cancers, potentially leading to a greater understanding of these cancers and eventually to improved treatment, control, and prevention.


united states