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Codes and Frequencies

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CANCERYRC indicates whether persons had cancer of any kind in the past year. This variable is created with supplemental programming by the IPUMS NHIS staff from the pre-1997 condition records. For general information about IHIS variables (such as CANCERYRC) created from the pre-1997 condition records, see the User Note on Condition Records and Condition Variables.

Defining Cancer Records and Identifying Persons with Cancer

For all available years, persons who were asked a direct question about having cancer and who have a chronic cancer condition record are given a "Yes" code for CANCERYRC. Persons who were asked a direct question about having cancer but do not have a chronic cancer record are given a code of "No." Persons who were not asked a direct question about cancer, or for whom it is unknown whether they were asked such a question, are given a code of "NIU" (not in universe), regardless of whether they have a chronic cancer record.

For both available years (1982 and 1983), chronic cancer records were defined as those condition records with any of the following codes in the variable C1CONDRB in the original NHIS public use files:


  • "80" ("Malignant neoplasm of lip, oral cavity, and pharynx")
  • "90" ("Malignant neoplasm of esophagus")
  • "91" ("Malignant neoplast of stomach")
  • "92" ("Malignant neoplasm of small intestine, including duodenum")
  • "93" ("Malignant neoplasm of colon")
  • "94" ("Malignant neoplasm of rectum, rectosigmoid junction, and anus")
  • "95" ("Malignant neoplasm of liver, specified as primary")
  • "96" ("Malignant neoplasm of pancreas")
  • "99" ("Residual malignant neoplasm of digestive organs and peritoneum")
  • "100" ("Malignant neoplasm of larynx")
  • "101" ("Malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus, and lung")
  • "109" ("Residual malignant neoplasm of respiratory and inthrathoracic organs")
  • "110" ("Malignant neoplasm of bone and articular cartilage")
  • "111" ("Malignant melanoma of skin")
  • "112" ("Other malignant neoplasm of skin")
  • "113" ("Malignant neoplasm of female breast")
  • "119" ("Residual malignant neoplasm of bone, connective tissue, skin and breast")
  • "120" ("Malignant neoplasm of cervix uteri")
  • "121" ("Malignant neoplasm of placenta")
  • "122" ("Malignant neoplasm of uterus, other and unspecified")
  • "123" ("Malignant neoplasm of ovary and other uterine adnexa")
  • "124" ("Malignant neoplasm of prostate")
  • "125" ("Malignant neoplasm of testis")
  • "126" ("Malignant neoplasm of bladder")
  • "129" ("Residual malignant neoplasm of genitourinary organs")
  • "130" ("Malignant neoplasm of brain")
  • "139" ("Residual malignant neoplasm of other and unspecified sites")
  • "140" ("Hodgkin's disease")
  • "141" ("Leukemia")
  • "149" ("Residual malignant neoplasm of lymphatic and haemopoietic tissue")

These condition code values come from NCHS's Diagnostic Recode B: Diseases, Injuries, and Impairments. Additionally, to be considered "chronic," cancer condition records must have a code of "1" ("Chronic") in the variable CACODE in the original NHIS public use files.

For both available years (1982-1983), CANCERYRC should be weighted with CONDWT4.

Related Cancer Variables
The nearest equivalent of CANCERYRC after 1983 is CANCERYR (Had cancer, past 12 months). However, researchers should use caution when comparing prevalence estimates derived from these two variables, as the manner of collecting information about cancer differs greatly between the two. CANCERYRC was created by recoding condition records that were generated in response to several different survey questions about health problems underlying disability, sick days, or contacts with health care practitioners. CANCERYR, by contrast, is based on a direct question about whether the person had the cancer.


There are no comparability issues with CANCERYRC.


  • 1982-1983: Persons living in 1/6 of households (who received Condition List 4).


  • 1982-1983