Does Breast Cancer Drive the Building of Survival Probability Models among States? An Assessment of Goodness of Fit for Patient Data from SEER Registries

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

2 Florida International University

3 Texas Tech University


Background: Breast cancer is a worldwide public health concern and is the most prevalent type of cancer in women in the United States. This study concerned the best fit of statistical probability models on the basis of survival times for nine state cancer registries: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington. Materials and Methods: A probability random sampling method was applied to select and extract records of 2,000 breast cancer patients from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database for each of the nine state cancer registries used in this study. EasyFit software was utilized to identify the best probability models by using goodness of fit tests, and to estimate parameters for various statistical probability distributions that fit survival data. Results: Statistical analysis for the summary of statistics is reported for each of the states for the years 1973 to 2012. Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Anderson-Darling, and Chi-squared goodness of fit test values were used for survival data, the highest values of goodness of fit statistics being considered indicative of the best fit survival model for each state. Conclusions: It was found that California, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, New Mexico, and Washington followed the Burr probability distribution, while the Dagum probability distribution gave the best fit for Michigan and Utah, and Hawaii followed the Gamma probability distribution. These findings highlight differences between states through selected sociodemographic variables and also demonstrate probability modeling differences in breast cancer survival times. The results of this study can be used to guide healthcare providers and researchers for further investigations into social and environmental factors in order to reduce the occurrence of and mortality due to breast cancer.