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Rapid Response Surveillance Studies
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Outcomes - Prognosis Prediction/Survival

Prognosis refers to the likely outcome or course of a disease, including the chance of recovery or recurrence. This area of research investigates factors that may influence cancer outcomes, such as the stage of cancer at diagnosis, the impact of risk factors, or socioeconomic (SES) factors. The goal of such research is to understand the factors associated with progression of cancer and to improve rates of cancer survival.

RRSS investigators are conducting studies to:

  • examine factors associated with recurrence and survival in a prospective cohort of white, black, Hispanic women (Health, Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle (HEAL) Study);
  • examine factors that may be related to differences in breast cancer survival among black and white women;
  • determine whether differences in cancer incidence, stage at diagnosis, therapy, and survival are related to differences in SES;
  • observe the possible impact of obesity, hormone use, and physical activity on breast cancer survival and the impact of hormone use on colon cancer treatment and survival;
  • evaluate the effects of health care usage, SES, and co-morbidity on racial differences in the progression, recurrence, and survival of prostate cancer;
  • examine the possible impact of DNA damage (alteration and loss of DNA) on colon cancer survival;
  • study factors related to the recurrence of breast and prostate cancer;
  • determine factors associated with long-term cancer survival; and
  • examine the association of Medicaid enrollment status and stage of cancer at diagnosis.

Registries Funded to Conduct these Studies

Atlanta (Metropolitan)
Detroit (Metropolitan)
Los Angeles
New Mexico
Northern California Cancer Center (SF-OAK)
Seattle (Puget Sound)

Key Findings

SES is an important predictor of cancer stage at diagnosis, accounting for much of the disparity in stage between African-Americans and Caucasians for colorectal, lung, and cervical cancers. Biological factors may also play a role in racial disparities for breast and prostate cancer stage at diagnosis.

Among women diagnosed with colon cancer, the use of hormone replacement therapy was not associated with progesterone receptor-positive tumors. This finding does not support previous reports that suggest that colon tumors frequently have receptors for estrogen and/or progesterone.

Future Use

These studies will continue to examine factors involved in cancer recurrence, progression, survival and mortality.


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