Each year, cancer registries collect data on hundreds of thousands of cancer cases across the United States. The National Cancer Institute has a program that helps us make sense of all that data. Launched in 1973, the Surveillance, epidemiology, and End Results Program.

SEER collects and transforms enormous amounts of registry data into information we can understand. For 50 years, the program has continuously expanded and enhanced the data it collects giving us a clearer view of cancer trends. We’ve come a long way. In the beginning, registries reviewed paper-based records at hospitals. SEER would report on that data in its cancer Statistics Review issued as a book initially and then as a PDF online.

Over time, registries began receiving electronic medical records, but continued to review each document manually. Today with advancements in natural language processing and artificial intelligence, registries are beginning to capture information from electronic medical records automatically or semi automatically. But what really sets SR apart from other cancer surveillance programs are its powerful analytical tools. SEER provides quick interactive online tools and customized software, making it easy to view cancer statistics rates, and trends.

For 50 years, SEER has been on the cutting edge of statistical methods for cancer surveillance, and for the next 50 and beyond, we’ll continue to pursue our mission of turning cancer data into discovery. Visit to learn more.