Medicare Claims and Enrollment Data Linked to Cancer Registry Data


This article provides a brief overview of the SEER-Medicare linked database.

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Researchers who are interested in studying cancer may want to consider the SEER-Medicare linked data files. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute provides information on cancer diagnoses, including population-based tumor registries designed to track cancer incidence and survival in the United States. The SEER database provides detailed information about cancer site, stage, and histology that is not available in the Medicare claims data.

The SEER-Medicare linked data combine information from the SEER cancer registries data with Medicare enrollment and claims data. The SEER-Medicare data includes two cohorts:

  • Medicare enrollees who linked to a SEER cancer record
  • A non-cancer control population of Medicare beneficiaries who are residents of the SEER areas, but did not link to a SEER cancer record .

The SEER-Medicare website provides many resources to researchers interested in requesting the SEER-Medicare linked data as well as to researchers already using the data set. Please see the SEER-Medicare website for data statistics, data documentation, and information about requesting SEER-Medicare data. Questions about the use of these data should be directed to the SEER-Medicare data contact.