LSUHealthNO Tumor Registry Now Includes Prevalence Data

For the first time, data published by LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health’s Louisiana Tumor Registry includes cancer prevalence. Cancer prevalence is defined as the number of living people who have ever been diagnosed with cancer in a given population at a given point in time.  It includes new (incidence) and pre-existing cases and is a function of both past incidence and survival.

“We are publishing this data because we know that it is important for many cancer organizations to know how many people are living with cancer in our communities,” notes Xiao-Cheng Wu, MD, Professor and Director of the Louisiana Tumor Registry at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health.  “This information can be useful for planning the provision of health and oncology services, such as survivorship care clinics. From now on, these prevalence tables will be published with our annual monograph.”

The prevalence data for all cancers by region and by age group are included in a supplement to Cancer in Louisiana, Vol 31 published in March 2017. The supplement also reveals that the cancer sites with the largest number of people living with the disease are prostate and breast, as well as colon and rectum, and that the largest percentage of people living with cancer fall between the ages of 60 and 69. The supplement is available online at

Cancer prevalence has been used infrequently because of the difficulty in obtaining the data for prevalence in a community. Some patients may be cured, and it is not feasible to obtain prevalence data through a population survey. The prevalence data that LSU Health New Orleans Louisiana Tumor Registry generated used the limited duration prevalence counting method to estimate the prevalence of people diagnosed in the 13-year period from 2000-2013. Limited duration prevalence is the proportion of people alive on a certain day who had a diagnosis of the disease within a specified number of years.

The Registry chose to produce this data because it provides useful information for planning health care resources and the need for patient care, regular checkups, treatment of long-term complications and terminal care.

LSU Health New Orleans’ Louisiana Tumor Registry is one of 17 population-based cancer registries in the National Cancer Institute’s  Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. The SEER Program is considered to be the standard for quality among cancer registries around the world.