The crude probability of death measures the mortality patterns actually experienced in a cohort of cancer patients on which many possible causes of death are acting simultaneously. This option estimates the probability of dying from cancer and dying from other causes for a cohort of cancer patients. Cause of death information is used to identify those individuals that have died from cancer.
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.
Multiple decrement life tables are used to calculate the probability of death from a specific cancer and probability of death from other causes.
Marubini E, Valsecchi MG. Analyzing Survival Data from Clinical Trials and Observational Studies. John Wiley & Sons, England, 1995.