Cancer Survival: Principles, Methods and Applications

Overview - Cancer Survival: Principles, Methods and Applications

This short course is run by the School's Cancer Survival Group.

A highly experienced international faculty will present a stimulating and intensive one-week course on the principles, methods and applications of cancer survival estimated with population-based cancer registry data. You will enjoy lectures and discussions, computer-based exercises with real data, daily review sessions and a session for participants to present their own work or ideas for debate. You will be provided with digital or printed copies of all lectures, practical exercises and solutions. For computer-based exercises, you will be expected to use your own laptop.

Net survival will be the main approach to analysis, with discussion of recent methodological developments. The methodological concepts of cancer survival will be illustrated by public health and policy applications throughout the week. Results from recent survival studies will be presented and their interpretation discussed.


The faculty will include internationally renowned experts in the field of cancer survival analysis and methods, and 10 researchers in the Cancer Survival Group. External faculty members will include:

  • Prof Paul Dickman, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Prof Maja Pohar Perme, Institute of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Who should apply?

Epidemiologists, statisticians, physicians and oncologists, public health specialists and others with a direct interest in applied cancer survival analysis, and particularly those working in a cancer registry.

You should have a basic understanding of cancer survival, since this course will include discussion of advanced statistical methods and practical computing, as well as discussion of the public health applications of cancer survival data.

We do not insist that you have a qualification in statistics, but some experience is essential for you to take full advantage of the statistical components of the course. All practical sessions will use Stata, so some experience of Stata should be considered essential. Free online video tutorials are available on the Stata website to introduce the basic functionality. 

The applied public health elements of the course will be accessible and relevant to all groups.

Course fee

The fee covers all course materials, lunch on the first and last days of the course, and refreshments at each break. The fee does not include travel or accommodation. The course is for a whole week; daily rates are not available.

  • Participants who are based in low-, lower-middle and upper-middle income countries can apply for 50% reduction in the course fee.  Please note that only a small number of places at the reduced fee are available.  Early application is advised!  See the list of eligible countries
Course objectives
Course objectives - Cancer Survival: Principles, Methods and Applications

Aims and objectives

The aims of the course are:

  • to teach the main statistical methods for estimating population-based cancer survival
  • to discuss the main controversies in estimation and interpretation of cancer survival
  • to provide students with an intensive learning environment in which faculty members will attend all sessions of the course, not just their own
  • to provide opportunities for computer-based practical analysis of real cancer data

Methods and topics covered will include:

  • measures of the cancer burden (incidence, prevalence, mortality, survival, cure)
  • all-cause (crude), net and relative survival and excess mortality hazard
  • construction of abridged and complete life tables
  • net survival estimation, including cohort, complete, period and hybrid approaches
  • adjustment of cancer survival estimates for age and other factors
  • impact of data quality, completeness, stage migration, screening and lead-time bias
  • methods for handling missing data in cancer survival analysis
  • avoidable premature deaths and population "cure"
  • multi-variable modelling of relative survival, and comparison with Cox and Poisson approaches
  • the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030
  • public health interpretation of cancer survival trends and inequalities


32 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits have been awarded by the Royal College of Physicians for 2023.

Course attendance certificate

Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance. There is no examination.

Sponsorship and funding
Sponsorship and funding - Cancer Survival: Principles, Methods and Applications

We are seeking funding to enable fellowships to be offered to participants who are based in low-income and middle-income countries. Availability of fellowships cannot be guaranteed.

If you are independently seeking sponsorship, you could try the British Council or other possible sources of funding.

You are encouraged to apply for a place on the course as early as possible. Confirmation of acceptance will be supplied for applicants who have been accepted, to help you with administrative requirements in your home institution. Further enquiries should be made to the Course Administrator.

How to apply
How to apply - Cancer Survival: Principles, Methods and Applications

Applying for the course

Applications are now closed. You can register your interest and we will let you know when applications reopen.

Please read LSHTM's Admissions policies prior to submitting your application.

Short courses - visas, accommodation, disclaimer


The student is responsible for obtaining any visa or other permissions to attend the course, and is encouraged to start the application process as early as possible as obtaining a visa for the UK can sometimes take a long time. The Short Courses team can provide supporting documentation if requested.


A list of hotels located in the vicinity of LSHTM, along with further resources for short term accommodation, can be found on our accommodation pages

Important information

Please note:

  • If you have been offered a place on the course you will not be able to register without bringing formal ID (Passport) and without having obtained the correct visa if required.
  • It is essential that you read the current visa requirements for short course students.
  • LSHTM may cancel courses two weeks before the first day of the course if numbers prove insufficient.  In those circumstances, course fees will be refunded.
  • LSHTM cannot accept responsibility for accommodation, travel and other losses incurred as a result of the course being cancelled.