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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An evaluation of the system used by the British Columbia cancer registry to record data on cases of invasive cervical cancer Husted, Janice Aileen


This study evaluated the quality of data recorded by the British Columbia (B.C.). Cancer Registry on cases of invasive cervical cancer. This study did this by comparing the Registry's pathological diagnosis, age, marital status, residence, and date of death of all cases that had been registered as invasive cervical cancer in B.C. during 1977, 1978, and 1979 with a best estimate of the truth for these items of information, based on data collected from B.C.'s cytology screening programme and from clinical charts on file at the Cancer Control Agency of British Columbia (CCA.B.C.) . This comparison showed that the Registry's data for these years overestimated the true incidence of invasive cervical cancer. One hundred and eighty-four (35%) of the Registry's 521 cases were not true cases of invasive cervical cancer. Of these 184, 141 (77%) were cases of pre-invasive cervical cancer; 26 (14%) did not fit the criteria of an incident case (a new case of invasive cervical cancer diagnosed in B.C. during 1977 to 1979); and 17 (9%) were cases of invasive cancer of another primary site (e.g. bowel, endometrium). In addition to this misreporting, 28 true cases of invasive cervical cancer that had been diagnosed in B.C. during 1977 to 1979 had not been reported to the Registry. Thus, there were errors of omission as well as commission. Finally, it was found that the Registry only recorded 25 (29%) of the 85 fatalities that had occurred among the true cases of invasive cervical cancer, and that the information on marital status was incorrect for 65% of cases, and, on residence for 30%. Further investigation revealed that all of these inaccuracies arose because of unsatisfactory registration procedures used by the Registry. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that there have been shortcomings in the data provided by the B.C. Cancer Registry for use in monitoring the incidence of this type of cancer over time; in planning service facilities for it; and evaluating the provincial cervical screening programme.

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