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A review and comparison of age-period-cohort models for cancer incidence. (English) Zbl 1437.92041

Summary: Age-period-cohort models have been used to examine and forecast cancer incidence and mortality for over three decades. However, the fitting and interpretation of these models requires great care because of the well-known identifiability problem that exists; given any two of age, period, and cohort, the third is determined. In this paper, we review the identifiability problem and models that have been proposed for analysis, from both frequentist and Bayesian standpoints. A number of recent analyses that use age-period-cohort models are described and critiqued before data on cancer incidence in Washington State are analyzed with various models, including a new Bayesian approach based on an identifiable parameterization.

MSC:

92C32 Pathology, pathophysiology
62P10 Applications of statistics to biology and medical sciences; meta analysis
60G50 Sums of independent random variables; random walks
92-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to biology
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