Role of Advanced Statistical Techniques in Cancer Mapping
The purpose of a cancer map is to convey pictorially the geographic variation of disease within a region, country, or smaller spatial unit. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, the map should be as objective as possible, leaving the viewer to interpret patterns in any manner which he or she wishes. The conventional statistical treatment of data for mapping involves the estimation of an age-standardized rate or relative risk for each subunit of the map, and perhaps a significance test for the difference between the subunit and the average of the map, either including or excluding the subunit (IARC 1982).
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