Frequency Selection Tab

The Selection tab is used to select the records to be included in the analysis. If no selection statements are made on the Selection tab, all records in the database will be included. Selection statements reduce the number of records included in an analysis based on specific variables. In addition, if a multiple primary ready database is selected on the Data tab, you have the option to make selections using each person's tumor history. To enable this feature, open the Session menu and select Person Selection.

The Selection tab and Table tab are often confused; please read Selection Tab vs. Table Tab to avoid common mistakes.

Select Only (Standard Selections)

At the top of each Selection tab is a box with check boxes that allows you to make the standard selections for frequency. The box is marked Select Only, but if Person Selection is used (see Person Selection below) it says Index Record and Other Selections, Select Only. These are the standard selections for the analysis of the database you have chosen.

Malignant Behavior

Select this option to include only cases with a malignant behavior. The Behavior variable is part of the morphology of cancer. The SEER program only collects information on in situ and malignant cancers. If the behavior code is malignant, the case will be included in the analysis.

Male or Female Sex

Select this option to include only cases where sex is either Male of Female (for example no cases of unknown or transgender patients).

Known Age

Select this option to include only cases of a known age.

Cases in Research Database

Select this option to include only cases in the selected Research Database.

First Matching Record for Each Person

This option is only available for multiple primary ready databases. It appears as a check box when Person Selection is not checked on the Session menu.  When First Matching Record for Each Person is checked, only the first record for each person which matches the selection criteria will be included in your analysis.

If Person Selection is checked on the Session menu, this option is replaced by more robust features for selecting people and tumors, as described below.

View Statements Link

This link opens the Standard Selection Details dialog, which provides the details of the standard options, indicates whether an option has been checked and shows if an option is disabled and the reason.

Person Selection

In a multiple primary ready database, each record represents a tumor or case and the records are sorted chronologically.  It is possible for a person to have multiple tumors. The Person Selection feature allows you to look at a person's entire tumor history, not just the records that match the tumor subset. To use this feature, open the Session menu and select Person Selection. When a check mark appears next to this item, it is turned on.

Index Record

An index record is the first tumor in a person’s history that matches this statement. Click the Edit button next to this box to create a selection statement that defines the index records. If this selection is left blank, the person's first record in the database is used as the index record.

Narrow the selection of persons

Use this feature to further subset people in the database. Mark the check box to enable the rest of the controls in this section. Using a person's first matching record from the above selection as the index record, you can narrow the search using the drop-down list boxes. Select to include only records for people with "at least", "at most", or "exactly", "0"-"99", "additional", "prior", or "subsequent record(s)". To further subset the output, click the Edit button next to the bottom text box, and create selection statements that the additional, prior, or subsequent record(s) must match.

For every selected person, include . . .

Use this drop-down list to specify which records to include in the analysis.


Suppose you wanted to know how many people have had a colon cancer diagnosis subsequent to having a stomach cancer diagnosis.

  1. Click the Edit button next to the first text box and create a selection statement for stomach cancer. At this point, you have selected people with at least one stomach cancer diagnosis.

  2. Check Narrow the Selection of Persons.

  3. From the drop-down list boxes, select "at least", then "1", then "subsequent record(s)".

  4. Click the Edit button next to the bottom Selection box, and create a selection statement for colon cancer.

  5. Select "only the index record" from the drop-down list at the bottom of the window. The analysis displayed in the results matrix will be based on the stomach cancer.