Comparability and Quality Control in Cancer Registration

IARC Technical Report No. 19

Author: Parkin DM, Chen VW, Ferlay J, Galceran J, Storm HH, Whelan SL




Provides detailed practical advice on a range of methods and procedures that can be used by cancer registries to maximize the comparability and quality of their data. Noting the vital role of population-based registries in programmes for cancer control, the book aims to provide both a review of procedures used in different registries and a guide to those specific procedures that are most likely to yield comparable, complete, and valid information. The guidelines were developed jointly by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer and the International Association of Cancer Registries. The book includes a diskette containing the IARC-CHECK programme for assessing the validity and consistency of data in cancer registries. The book has three chapters. The first discusses the many factors that influence the comparability of data, emphasizing rules and procedures that can help standardize diagnosis, classification, and coding. Chapter two describes three methods for evaluating the completeness of information in the cancer registry: the death certificate method, independent case ascertainment, and the historic data method. The final chapter, focused on methods for checking the validity of data, explains the use of the diagnostic criteria method, missing information, reabstracting and recording, and the internal consistency method. The book concludes with a detailed guide to the use of the IARC-CHECK programme, which was designed to check data for validity and consistency by rejecting outright errors and flagging unlikely or unnatural combinations. The programme, which is intended for use in international studies, was developed to assess the validity of data assembled for Volume VI of Cancer Incidence in Five Continents.