March 1, 2013
The analysis of statistical data about cancer occurrence is an essential task in epidemiology. It is considerable to identify risk factors in the early stage of occurrence. For this task the German Centre for Cancer Registry Data is collecting the cancer occurrence in Germany. The effort to collect cancer registry data is important to investigate shot-, mid- and long-term effects of cancer occurrence and the evaluation of health care policy measures targeting cancer prevention, early tumor detection, cancer treatment and care.
The challenge is that every cancer occurrence must be analyzed under different perspectives. Every occurrence contains information about the age, gender, localization of the cancer (e.g. lung) and implication. Through this multidimensional view the visualization of cancer statistics must cover these properties simultaneously. The choice was to visualize the cancer occurrence along these properties to allow the user a discovery process. If you have a massive data set it es necessary to recognize patterns or interesting relationships. The flow visualization helps you to identify cancer occurrence of specific groups and to see the value distribution along the other properties. Now it is easier to ask questions of relevance:
- How is the age structure by men with prostate cancer?
- What is the type of cancer with the highest number of incidences?
- Does exists gender specific types of cancer?
These questions can be answered with the provided structure of the visualization. Each vertical line represents one dimension (e.g. gender) and the total amount of cancer occurrence by every property. Each flow shows the total amount along the displayed dimensions. If you click on one property it is possible to see detailed flowes with specific values. After the click the specific flows are highlighted to discover the needed relationships. This is done by the use of transparency and color.
At the end the provided visualization helps to recognize relationships through a multidimensional view. In the development process the use of color, transparency and form is determining the perception of the user.