Personalized Calculator Predicts Oral Cancer Survival

Explore how researchers used statistical models to create the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Oral Cancer Survival Calculator (SEER OCSC) for personalized calculations about the likelihood a person with oral cancer will survive, die of their cancer, or die of other causes.

It’s important to consider factors outside the cancer diagnosis when discussing treatment for oral cancer. Researchers used SEER data, SEER-Medicare linked data, and data from the National Health Interview Survey to create the SEER OCSC.

Key statistical analysis takeaways include:

  • Researchers built the calculator to use competing risk models with different time scales to deliver the personalized models.
  • Each risk of death model specified different covariates to estimate risk of death from oral cancer and risk of death from another cause.

The SEER OCSC estimates:

  • health status-adjusted age.
  • life expectancy in the absence of cancer.
  • the probability of surviving, dying from the cancer, or dying from other causes 1 to 10 years after diagnosis.

Using SEER OCSC, researchers found that excluding the effects of coexisting conditions can lead to underestimates or overestimates of oral cancer survival.


  • is publicly available.
  • is for people newly diagnosed with oral cancer, their clinicians, and others.
  • can help provide context for discussions between clinicians and patients about the role and scope of cancer treatment in their life.

Discover more about how these researchers used SEER data and statistical models to develop the calculator, or learn how to use this precision medicine tool in clinical practice.

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