Making Prognosis Information More Relevant for Recently Diagnosed People

The Oral Cancer Survival Calculator estimates the long-term prognosis of people recently diagnosed with oral cancer. However, there is one problem that researchers have when making this type of estimate. The survival information can only be obtained from people diagnosed many years ago. In some cases, treatments and prognoses may be different than they are today.

For example, in 2009, the actual chance that people will survive for 10 years after diagnosis is available only for those diagnosed in 1999 or earlier. Therefore, estimates of long-term survival may be less accurate for recently diagnosed people. This is especially true for cancer sites for which survival has improved over time, such as breast cancer. To help solve this problem, this calculator estimates survival trends (changes in survival over time) according to diagnosis year. Then it uses that information to project the probability that a person diagnosed in a specific recent year will live for a specific number of years after diagnosis. For more details about this methodology, see Cancer Survival Statistics: Cohort Definition.