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Cause-specific Survival


Cause-specific survival is a net survival measure representing cancer survival in the absence of other causes of death. Cause-specific survival estimates the probability of surviving a specific cause of death specified by you using the Definition of Cause of Death. Estimates are calculated using a standard life table approach where individuals who die of causes other then those specified are considered to be censored.

In some instances cause of death information may be unreliable or unknown. For example, if a cancer has metastasized to another site, the death certificate may list cancer of the metastasized site as the cause of death. One possible way to address this problem is to include only individuals with one primary cancer and define the cause of death as all cancers.

By selecting Cause-Specific Survival from the Cancer Survival Measures on the Statistic tab, the following statistics will be shown for each survival interval in the output life tables.

  • Number of cases entering the interval alive
  • Number of cases dying, lost to follow up, or withdrawn alive* during the interval
  • The adjusted number of alive* cases for each interval
  • Cause-specific survival for the interval
  • Cumulative cause-specific survival
  • Standard errors for the interval cause-specific survival and cumulative cause-specific survival

* These statistics do not appear in the results matrix unless selected from the matrix options.