Introduction to WISH Cancer Module

Background of Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System

The Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System (WCRS) was established in 1976 to collect cancer incidence data on Wisconsin residents as mandated by Wisconsin Statute 255.04, Cancer Reporting. In compliance with state law, hospitals, physicians, and clinics report cancer cases to the WCRS, in the Division of Public Health, Wisconsin Department of Health Services. In fulfilling the state mandate, WCRS specifies that cancer case submission be based on the "Neoplasm Record/Report" in electronic format. Hospitals are asked to report cases within six months of initial diagnosis or first admission following a diagnosis elsewhere. Clinics and physicians are expected to report cases within three months of initial diagnosis or contact. All tumors with malignant cell types are reportable except basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin and in situ cervical cancer. For more information about reporting requirements, visit the WCRS website.

In 1994, WCRS was enhanced by the Cancer Registries Amendment Act (Public Law 102-515), which established the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR). Today, NPCR supports central cancer registries in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Pacific Island Jurisdictions. These data represent 96% of the U.S. population. Together, NPCR and the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program collect cancer data for the entire U.S. population. For more information about NPCR, visit the NPCR website.

WISH Cancer Data

The WISH Cancer Module is based on the standard data calculations for state cancer registries in the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR). Cancer data in WISH were prepared to be consistent with previously published data and reports from the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System (WCRS). WCRS uses the SEER*Stat statistical software, from the National Cancer Institute, for all cancer data preparation. The SAS code underlying WISH was specially developed to replicate the SEER*Stat data calculations. There may be very slight differences in calculations based on small numbers, but every effort was made to reproduce SEER*Stat statistics.

Data users should note that the population estimates from SEER used in the WISH Cancer Module are different from population estimates used in the other WISH modules. For example, the Cancer Mortality Module uses different population estimates in calculating rates than are used in the general Mortality Module, and therefore cancer mortality statistics may vary slightly between these modules. The advantage of using one module over the other is based on how the data will be used: The Cancer Module uses SEER population estimates to calculate incidence and mortality rates, the prevailing standard in state and national cancer publications, for overall comparability. However, if you are comparing mortality rates for various causes of death in Wisconsin, the general Mortality Module would provide consistent estimates across all causes of death.

SEER resources and references used for the Cancer Module are documented in the module's technical notes and other supporting background information.

WISH Cancer Incidence Modules

These modules provide data on Wisconsin resident cancer incidence (new cancer cases), based on data submitted to the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System (WCRS) as required by state law. WCRS receives reports of newly diagnosed cancer cases from Wisconsin hospitals, clinics, physician offices and out-of-state central cancer registries. Cancer incidence in this reporting system is based on all cancer cases, so patients with more than one cancer would be counted for each cancer site.

WISH cancer incidence module query pages include counts, crude and age-adjusted incidence rates for invasive cancers (excluding in situ cases except for in situ cancer of the bladder). Carcinoma in situ (pre-invasive stage) of the breast is included only in the Female Breast Cancer Incidence by Stage Module. Non-melanoma skin cancers, cases reported with unknown or "other" sex, and cases with unknown age are omitted.

The cancer incidence modules consist of three separate query pages. The first module query page provides state, regional and county incidence data on counts, crude rates and age-adjusted rates for the major invasive cancer sites. The second module query page provides data for invasive stage of disease at diagnosis by site, including local, regional, distant, and unknown stages for the regional and state queries; local and late stages (regional and distant stages combined) are provided for county queries. Unknown stage is not shown for county queries because the number is usually small, below the threshold for suppression (less than 6). The third module query page presents in situ and invasive stage of disease at diagnosis for female breast cancer by in situ, local, regional, distant and unknown stages for state and regional queries, and in situ, local and late (regional and distant) for county queries. Unknown stage is not shown for county-level queries because the number is small and  usually below the threshold for suppression, less than 6.

See Definitions.

To design your query, first select a measure (either number of cancer cases, crude rate, or age-adjusted rate). You can narrow your focus to a particular year or years and a geographic area. You can also choose to focus on certain demographic variables, such sex, race, or ethnicity groups. Finally, choose row and column variables for your table.

WISH Cancer Mortality Module

The cancer mortality module provides data on cancer mortality among Wisconsin residents. Data were obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics to capture the most complete data for cancer deaths that occurred in the listed years. Cancer mortality rates are based on the underlying cause of death recorded on the death certificate.

The cancer mortality query page provides data on number of deaths, crude rates and age-adjusted rates for major cancer sites. After you select the statistical measure, you can choose the years and demographic variables, such as sex, race and ethnicity. Finally, choose row and column variables for your table.


Last Revised: February 17, 2016