Stage at Diagnosis

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In 2013, the rate of new regional and distant stage breast cancer cases was 43.6 per 100,000 females.

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Introduction

Cancers can be diagnosed at different stages in their development. Stage of cancer diagnosis may be expressed as numbers (for example, I, II, III, or IV) or by terms such as “localized,” “regional,” and “distant.” The lower the number or the more localized the cancer, the better a person’s chances of benefiting from treatment.

Tracking the rates of late-stage (distant) cancers is a good way to monitor the impact of cancer screening. When more cancers are detected in early stages, fewer should be detected in late stages.

Both rates of late stage disease, and stage proportions are shown since each has a somewhat different interpretation.  For example, rates could be declining among all stages of disease, but the proportion of late stage disease among diagnosed cases could be relatively constant.

Measure

Late-stage diagnosis rate: The number of new cancer cases diagnosed at a distant stage, per 100,000 people per year for cancers of the prostate, colon, rectum, and cervix uteri. Late stage is defined as regional and distant stage diagnoses, per 100,000 women per year for cancer of the female breast. Late stage is defined as AJCC 6th edition Stage III and Stage IV diagnoses, per 100,000 people per year for cancers of the lung and bronchus.

Stage Distribution:  The proportion of new cancer cases among all cases diagnosed in a specific year.  The full distribution of all stages (local, regional, distant and unstaged or I, II, III, IV and unstaged) is shown.

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • Healthy People 2020 has only one target for late-stage diagnoses: to reduce the number of new late-stage female breast cancer cases to 42.1 per 100,000 females.  Healthy People 2020 also includes targets for increasing the proportion of adults who are screened for cervical, colorectal, and breast cancer, and for increasing the proportion of men who are counseled about prostate-specific screening tests. These screenings may increase the proportion of adults whose cancer is detected in its early stage.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Source

SEER Program, National Cancer Institute, 1980–2013.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

Late Stage Breast Cancer Rates

Rates of new cases of late stage breast cancer, 1980-2013
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2013)
Rate per 100,000 Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Rates of new cases of late stage breast cancer, 1980-2013 Late Stage Breast CancerClick to see the detailed trend graph for Late Stage Breast Cancer 43.6 (42.5 - 44.6)

Late Stage Lung Cancer Rates

Rates of new cases of late stage lung cancer, 2004-2013
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2013)
Rate per 100,000 Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Rates of new cases of late stage lung cancer, 2004-2013 Late Stage Lung CancerClick to see the detailed trend graph for Late Stage Lung Cancer 34.8 (34.5 - 35.2)

Distant Stage Cancer Rates

Rates of new cancers of distant stage diseases, 1980-2013
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2013)
Rate per 100,000 Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Rates of new cancers of distant stage diseases, 1980-2013 ColonClick to see the detailed trend graph for Colon 5.9 (5.6 - 6.1)
RectumClick to see the detailed trend graph for Rectum 2.0 (1.8 - 2.1)
CervixClick to see the detailed trend graph for Cervix 0.8 (0.7 - 0.9)
ProstateClick to see the detailed trend graph for Prostate 8.2 (7.7 - 8.7)

Stage Distribution

Female Breast Cancer
Distribution of female breast cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 1980-2013
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2013)
Percent of diagnoses Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Distribution of female breast cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 1980-2013 LocalizedClick to see the detailed trend graph for Localized 65.5 (64.9 - 66.2)
Regional/DistantClick to see the detailed trend graph for Regional/Distant 32.9 (32.3 - 33.5)
UnstagedClick to see the detailed trend graph for Unstaged 1.5 (1.4 - 1.7)
Lung Cancer
Distribution of lung cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 2004-2013
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2013)
Percent of diagnoses Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Distribution of lung cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 2004-2013 Stage IClick to see the detailed trend graph for Stage I 21.4 (21.0 - 21.8)
Stage IIClick to see the detailed trend graph for Stage II 3.9 (3.8 - 4.1)
Stage III/IVClick to see the detailed trend graph for Stage III/IV 65.1 (64.7 - 65.5)
Unknown StageClick to see the detailed trend graph for Unknown Stage 9.6 (9.3 - 9.9)
Colon Cancer
Distribution of colon cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 1980-2013
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2013)
Percent of diagnoses Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Distribution of colon cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 1980-2013 LocalizedClick to see the detailed trend graph for Localized 41.4 (40.4 - 42.5)
RegionalClick to see the detailed trend graph for Regional 31.8 (30.8 - 32.8)
DistantClick to see the detailed trend graph for Distant 22.3 (21.4 - 23.1)
UnstagedClick to see the detailed trend graph for Unstaged 4.5 (4.0 - 4.9)
Rectum Cancer
Distribution of rectum cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 1980-2013
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2013)
Percent of diagnoses Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Distribution of rectum cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 1980-2013 LocalizedClick to see the detailed trend graph for Localized 42.5 (40.9 - 44.1)
RegionalClick to see the detailed trend graph for Regional 32.9 (31.4 - 34.4)
DistantClick to see the detailed trend graph for Distant 18.1 (16.9 - 19.4)
UnstagedClick to see the detailed trend graph for Unstaged 6.5 (5.7 - 7.3)
Cervix Uteri Cancer
Distribution of cervix uteri cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 1980-2013
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2013)
Percent of diagnoses Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Distribution of cervix uteri cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 1980-2013 LocalizedClick to see the detailed trend graph for Localized 45.6 (42.5 - 48.7)
RegionalClick to see the detailed trend graph for Regional 35.8 (32.8 - 38.8)
DistantClick to see the detailed trend graph for Distant 13.6 (11.5 - 15.8)
UnstagedClick to see the detailed trend graph for Unstaged 4.9 (3.6 - 6.3)
Prostate Cancer
Distribution of prostate cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 1995-2013
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2013)
Percent of diagnoses Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Distribution of prostate cancer diagnoses by stage at diagnosis, 1995-2013 Localized/regionalClick to see the detailed trend graph for Localized/regional 89.4 (89.0 - 89.9)
DistantClick to see the detailed trend graph for Distant 6.8 (6.4 - 7.2)
UnstagedClick to see the detailed trend graph for Unstaged 3.7 (3.5 - 4.0)

Year Range

1980-2013

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2009-2013

Summary Tables

Diagnosis

Recent Summary Trend

Falling

Desired Direction

Falling