SEER-Medicare: SEER Program & Data
Overview of SEER
The SEER Program is an epidemiologic surveillance system consisting of
population-based tumor registries designed to track cancer incidence and
survival in the United States. Collection of the SEER data began on January 1,
1973. The registries routinely collect information on newly diagnosed cancer
patients residing in geographically defined areas.
The SEER data contain information about an incident cancer diagnosis and
cancer-directed surgery and radiation therapy provided for first course of
treatment. The registries collect information about all primary cancers that a
person may develop. The SEER data do not capture information about surgery and
radiation provided past four months of diagnosis, nor is there information about
recurrence or metastasis that is detected subsequent to the initial diagnosis.
For more information about the SEER program and data, please see the SEER Home Page.
The SEER data released as part of SEER-Medicare are in a customized file
known as the Patient Entitlement and Diagnosis Summary File (PEDSF). PEDSF
contains one record per person for individuals in the SEER database who have
been matched with Medicare enrollment records. Basic SEER diagnostic information
is available for up to 10 diagnosed cancer cases for each person. Refer to the
2-digit Site Recode Dictionary (PDF) for the
list of cancers available. PEDSF includes information on each person's month and
year of birth, date of death (if any), sex, race, and state of residence. It
also contains variables from other sources that have been added to assist
investigators in their analyses. These include Medicare eligibility, reason
for Medicare entitlement, and health maintenance organization (HMO) enrollment
by month for the period 1991 – 2011. PEDSF also contains variables derived from
Census Bureau data on basic socioeconomic status at the census tract and zip
PEDSF File Documentation is available.
All SEER variables copied directly from the SEER file are described in the
SEER Research Data Record Description.
- PEDSF File Documentation
- Attachment A: SEER Research Data Record Description