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Section 32

Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer by Site

Incidence, Survival and Mortality

Tumors affecting adolescents and young adults often differ from those affecting pediatric and older adult populations1. For this reason, a classification scheme has been proposed for tumors diagnosed in adolescents and young adults2. This classification scheme was updated based on site and histology codes of the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, Third Edition3. Effective 2001, all cases reported to SEER were required to have an ICD-O-3 histology and behavior code and all previous cases were converted to ICD-O-34. In addition, although benign brain tumors have also been reported to SEER since 2004, not enough time has elapsed to present rates and trend data for these tumors. These site / histology groupings, however, are not comparable with the groupings of ICD-10 for mortality. Therefore, for incidence and mortality comparisons, the SEER site recode as described in the appendix was used5. In this chapter, the incidence of malignant cancers in adolescent and young adults, 15 to 39 years of age, are presented based on the 2 different classification schemes described above.


1. The distinctive biology of cancer in adolescents and young adults. Bleyer A, Barr R, Hayes-Lattin B, et al. Nat Rev Cancer. 2008; 8: 288-98.

2. Barr RD, Holowaty EJ, Birch JM. Classification schemes for tumors diagnosed in adolescents and young adults. Cancer 2006; 106: 1425-1430.

3. International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, Third Edition Edited by A. Fritz, C. Percy, A. Jack, K. Shanmugaratnam, L. Sobin, D.M. Parkin and S. Whelan. World Health Organization. Geneva, Switzerland, 2000. 240 pp.

4. National Cancer Institute SEER Conversion Programs. Worldwide web: ( Accessed May 28, 2008.

5. National Cancer Institute Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2010. Appendix. Worldwide web: ( Released April 15, 2013.

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