SEER-CAHPS: SEER Program & Data

Overview of SEER

The SEER Program is an epidemiologic surveillance system consisting of population-based tumor registries designed to track cancer incidence and survival in the United States. Collection of the SEER data began on January 1, 1973. The registries routinely collect information on newly diagnosed cancer patients residing in geographically defined areas.

The registries collect information about all primary cancers that a person may develop. The SEER data contain information about an incident cancer diagnosis and cancer-directed surgery and radiation therapy provided for first course of treatment. The registries collect information about all primary cancers that a person may develop. The SEER data do not capture information about surgery and radiation provided past four months of diagnosis, nor is there information about recurrence or metastasis that is detected subsequent to the initial diagnosis.

For more information about the SEER program and data, please see the SEER Home PageExternal Web Site Policy.

SEER-Medicare Cancer Data

The cancer registry data released as part of SEER-Medicare are included in a customized file known as the SEER-CAHPS Cancer file. This file is an expanded SEER Research Plus file (e.g., it includes additional information variables (e.g., on place of residence, registry-determined first course of therapy and biomarker test results) not typically released by SEER, but is limited to Medicare beneficiaries. As such, the SEER-CAHPS Cancer file includes one record per tumor diagnosed among persons in the SEER database who have been matched with Medicare enrollment records. Each record includes information about the person (e.g., age at diagnosis, sex, race, ethnicity, and marital status) and the tumor (e.g., site, stage, histology, and grade). Refer to the 5-digit Site Recode DictionaryExternal Web Site Policy for the list of cancers available.

SEER-CAHPS Control Data

Medicare enrollment, claims, and assessment data (MDS and OASIS) are also available for subjects in the MBSF-Non-SEER file, i.e. that are not in the SEER cancer file but have a CAHPS survey in a SEER.

SEER Cancer Registries Included in SEER-CAHPS

Registry participation in the SEER Program has changed over time. Therefore, the years of cancer diagnoses included in the SEER-CAHPS data varies by registry. The current SEER-CAHPS data includes persons who received a cancer diagnosis in

  • 1999-2017: California (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose), Connecticut, Detroit*, Hawaii, Georgia, Iowa, New Mexico, Seattle, and Utah
  • 2000-2017: California (all areas not indicated above), Idaho**, Louisiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts**, New Jersey, and New York**

*As of 2021, Detroit is no longer in the SEER Program but is included in the current data release for all listed years.
**Idaho, Massachusetts and New York did not join the SEER Program until 2018, but limited variables for cases diagnosed during the listed years are included in the current data release.

Last Updated: 21 Jul, 2021