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Research Guide to Cancer Statistics

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Sources of Information
2.1. Books
2.2. Journals
2.3. Internet
2.4 Other data sources

1. Introduction

The purpose of this guide is to assist faculty, students, and staff of the University of Chicago find cancer statistics. This guide is not meant to be exhaustive but to highlight key resources for locating information on this topic.

2. Sources of Information

2.1 Book Resources

For electronic access to books, try searching the MD Consult database. You can search within an individual textbook, or run a search across ~40 textbooks simultaneously for your topic.

Use the Library catalog to locate relevant print and electronic books in the University Library.

Try to identify general texts on your topic and you should be able to find the data you need. Excellent data is buried within textbooks; just because a textbook has not been labeled in the catalog as a statistical resource does not mean that important numerical data is not included within the work. You will need to browse textbook and textbook chapters for tables and graphs on your topic in order to retrieve desired information.

Subject headings in the catalog often do not include terms like statistics unless the book only reports summary data, like in a survey. Instead, browse or search the catalog using broad and narrow subject terms related to cancer. Catalog tip: use the "*" wildcard to search for variations of your root term. For example child* to search for child or children or children's. You can then combine these subject terms with the type of data you are interested in. For example leukemia and morbidity.

Cancer -- Statistics.

Encyclopedic reference of cancer Manfred Schwab, ed. 2001 Crerar Library Reference, floor 1 RC254.5.E53 2001
Cancer facts & figures
American Cancer Society
Crerar Library Reference, floor 1
Atlas of cancer mortality in the United States, 1950-94
Devesa, Susan S.
Crerar Library Reference, floor 1
Survival of cancer patients in Europe : the EUROCARE-2 study Berrino, F. 1999 Crerar Library Bookstacks RC279.E8S87 1999
Cancer mortality and morbidity statistics : Japan and the world, 1999 /
Tominaga, Suketami.
Crerar Library Bookstacks
Cancer survival trends in England and Wales, 1971-1995 : deprivation and NHS region / Coleman, Michel P. (Michel Philippe) c1999. Crerar Library Bookstacks RC279.G7C363 1999
Illinois cancer statistics review : incidence 1986-1994 : mortality 1986-1995
Dolecek, Therese A.
Crerar Library Reference, floor 1
Cancer incidence and survival among children and adolescents : United States SEER program 1975-1995
Ries, Lynn A. Gloeckler.
Crerar Library Reference, floor 1
Racial/ethnic patterns of cancer in the United States, 1988-1992 /
Miller, Barry A.
Crerar Library Reference, floor 1
Cancer : rates and risks
Harras, Angela.
Crerar Library Bookstacks
Breast and cervical cancer profile, Illinois, 1986-1994
Dolecek, Therese A.
Crerar Library Bookstacks
Trends in cancer incidence and mortality Michel P. Coleman 1993 Crerar Library Bookstacks, Oversize f RC267.5.T746 1993
Cancer incidence in five continents : a technical report; IARC scientific publications. no. 15, 42, 88, 120, 143 Richard Doll, Peter Payne, John Waterhouse. 1966- Crerar Lib Stacks v.[1],v.2-5,v.7 RC275.I61
U.S. cancer mortality rates and trends, 1950-1979
Riggan, Wilson B.
Crerar Library Reference, floor 1
Cancer mortality by occupation and social class, 1851-1971. ARC scientific publications. no. 36 Logan, W. P. D. (William Philip Dowie) 1982 Crerar Stacks RC267.5.L640 1982

2.2 Journals

Bibliographic database produced by the National Cancer Institute that contains more than 1.5 million citations and abstracts from over 4,000 different sources including biomedical journals, proceedings, books, reports, and doctoral theses.


Medline on PubMed.

MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's premier database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. MEDLINE contains bibliographic citations and abstracts from more than 4,000 biomedical journals. The file contains over 11 million citations dating back to 1966.

The Print version of this database is known as Index Medicus. Print volumes from 1879-present are available in the Crerar Library Reference Collection at Z6660.I4.

Documentation on how to search PubMed.

National Library of Medicine's Current Bibliographies
in Medicine

Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer
January 1995 through July 2000, plus selected earlier citations
2230 Citations
Multicultural Aspects of Breast Cancer Etiology
January 1993 through December 1998, plus selected earlier citations
1430 Citations
Breast Cancer Screening in Women Ages 40-49,
334 selected citations, January 1985 - November 1996 (CBM 96-5)
Cervical Cancer
926 citations, January 1993 - March 1996 (CBM 96-1)
Ovarian Cancer
1908 citations, January 1990 - January 1994 plus selected earlier references (CBM 94-2)

2.3 Internet Resources

Sites were selected based upon the authority and/or reputation of the issuing body in addition to the quality and organization of the website. Federal organizations, medical associations, and private organizations are included.

Statistics available
American Brain Tumor Association Not-for-profit organization working to eliminate brain tumors through research and to meet the needs of patients and families
American Cancer Society The ACS is the nationwide health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer.
American College of Surgeons,
National Cancer Database
Nationwide oncology outcomes database for over 1,500 hospitals in 50 states, and is in its 10th year of operation. The NCDB was founded as a joint project of the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACOS) and the American Cancer Society (ACS).
The Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS)
Not-for-profit corporation committed to providing a resource for gathering and disseminating current epidemiologic data on all primary brain tumors, benign and malignant, for the purposes of accurately describing their incidence and survival patterns, evaluating diagnosis and treatment, facilitating etiologic studies, establishing awareness of the disease, and ultimately, for the prevention of all brain tumors.
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

The division serves as a leader for nationwide cancer prevention and control and as a partner with state health agencies and other key groups.
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control The DCPC is part of CDC's National Center For Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Science Policy Council, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
HealthWeb is a cooperative project of the health sciences libraries of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC).
International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC) is part of the World Health Organization. IARC's mission is to coordinate and conduct research on the causes of human cancer, the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and to develop scientific strategies for cancer control. The Agency is involved in both epidemiological and laboratory research and disseminates scientific information through publications, meetings, courses, and fellowships.

MedlinePlus is a Web-based database designed to assist you in locating authoritative health information. Created by the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

National Cancer Institute
The NCI is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of eight agencies that compose the Public Health Service (PHS) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

  • (Current and accurate information on a wide range of cancer information)
  • CANCERLIT Bibliographic Database - references to cancer literature published from 1963 to the present.
National Center for Health Statistics
Responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of statistics on the nature and extent of the health, illness, and disability of the U.S. Population
North American Association of Central Cancer Registries Professional organization that develops and promotes uniform data standards for cancer registration and aggregates and publishes data from central cancer registries.
Office of Cancer Survivorship
The mission of the OCS is to enhance the quality and length of survival of all persons diagnosed with cancer and to minimize or stabilize adverse sequelae of cancer survivorship.
Pan American Health Organization - Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization.
PAHO is an international public health agency working to improve health and living standards of the countries of the Americas. It serves as the specialized organization for health of the Inter-American System. It also enjoys international recognition as part of the United Nations system.
  • Cancer (Miscellaneous Collection of technical documents, briefings, reports, books)
SEER Program
The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute is the most authoritative source of information on cancer incidence and survival in the United States.

2.4 Other data sources

PDQ? - NCI's Comprehensive Cancer Database
Produced by the National Cancer Institute, PDQ? Contains peer-reviewed summaries on cancer treatment, screening, prevention, genetics, and supportive care; a registry of approximately 1,800 open and 10,300 closed cancer clinical trials from around the world; and directories of physicians, professionals who provide genetics services, and organizations that provide cancer care.

The NCI also maintains a list of other organizations providing access to cancer literature.

Statistical Universe

Major tool for statistical research. Covers data from US federal and state governments; university research centers, private associations and organizations, and independent research groups; and international and intergovernmental organizations. Records include abstracts, with full text of selected US federal and state publications available from as early as 1995.

Statistical Universe is the online equivalent of the following resources available in print. You will need to consult the print version in order to conduct historical research.

American statistics index (ASI)
Reading Rm, floor 1 Regenstein Z1223.Z7A51 (1973-)
Index to international statistics (IIS)
Reading Rm, floor 1 Regenstein (1983-)
Statistical Abstract of the United States
At multiple locations. Please check holdings. HA202.A2 (1878-)
Statistical reference index (SRI)
Reading Rm, floor 1 Regenstein Z7554.U5S71(1980-)


UpToDate is a practical clinical reference designed to provide instant access to the information you need. It is comprised of thousands of original topic reviews written by a recognized faculty of experts who each address a specific clinical issue and provide detailed recommendations. UpToDate performs a continuous review of over 270 journals and other resources. Due to licensing restrictions, use of this resource is only available onsite at the University of Chicago campus and hospitals.