SEER and the NCDB are continually evolving registries which have a number of important similarities. While the major strength of SEER is in its population-based sampling approach to accurately study cancer incidence, the NCDB captures more cancer cases, offers several unique variables for research, and most importantly, has feedback mechanisms to directly assist hospitals in quality improvement. Bagaria and colleagues study is an example of how such databases can be used to evaluate variation in a particular treatment pattern as well as adherence to an established cancer care quality measure. Fundamentally, SEER and the NCDB are ideally positioned to study trends in cancer care over time, patterns of care, and rare cancers. By themselves and also via linkages with tertiary data sources, they also allow researchers and policy makers to recognize and understand particular areas of cancer need to decide on resource allocation, identify high-risk groups, and evaluate cancer control programs and adherence to quality measures. Finally, as examples of highly coordinated and standardized methods of data collection and reporting, the two tell remarkably similar stories of cancer incidence and care over the last several decades.
ASJC Scopus subject areas