Washington University Med School

Inclusion of Comorbidity in Cancer Statistics​​

"In clinical practice, the prognostic influences of age and comorbidity are well recognized, and these influences usually receive careful consideration during the diverse decisions of clinical judgment. In statistical studies, however, the effects of comorbidity are generally ignored."
         Alvan R. Feinstein MD, 1974

Comorbidity Coding Course​

Patients with cancer often have other diseases, illnesses, or conditions in addition to their index cancer. These ot​her conditions are generally referred to as comorbidities. Although not a feature of the cancer itself, comorbidity is an important attribute of the patient. Survival rates are lower for patients with a greater number and severity of comorbid conditions. Comorbidity also has direct impact on the care of patients, selection of initial treatment, and evaluation of treatment effectiveness. When reporting statistical survival data, hospital-based and national cancer registries do not routinely take into account these coexisting medical ailments. ​​​

Comorbidity Data Collection Form


Access Online

The Whole Picture: Coding Comorbidity Video

This 9 minute video presents an overview of coding comorbidity and its significance to cancer statistics. The video is approximately 150 MB in size.

Webinar Presentation

Comorbidity Calculator

For further assistance with coding comorbidity, contact
Jay Piccirillo, MD, FACS, or Dorina Kallogjeri, MD, MPH