Research

South African National Cancer Registry: Effect of withheld data from private health systems on cancer incidence estimates

E Singh, J M Underwood, C Nattey, C Babb, M Sengayi, P Kellett

Abstract


Background. The National Cancer Registry (NCR) was established as a pathology-based cancer reporting system. From 2005 to 2007, private health laboratories withheld cancer reports owing to concerns regarding voluntary sharing of patient data.

Objectives. To estimate the impact of under-reported cancer data from private health laboratories.

Methods. A linear regression analysis was conducted to project expected cancer cases for 2005 - 2007. Differences between actual and projected figures were calculated to estimate percentage under-reporting.

Results. The projected NCR case total varied from 53 407 (3.8% net increase from actual cases reported) in 2005 to 54 823 (3.7% net increase) in 2007. The projected number of reported cases from private laboratories in 2005 was 26 359 (19.7% net increase from actual cases reported), 27 012 (18.8% net increase) in 2006 and 27 666 (28.4% net increase) in 2007.

Conclusion. While private healthcare reporting decreased by 28% from 2005 to 2007, this represented a minimal impact on overall cancer reporting (net decrease of <4%).


Authors' affiliations

E Singh, Cancer Epidemiology Research Group, National Cancer Registry, National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa; Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

J M Underwood, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

C Nattey, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; National Institute for Occupational Health, National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa

C Babb, Cancer Epidemiology Research Group, National Cancer Registry, National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa

M Sengayi, Cancer Epidemiology Research Group, National Cancer Registry, National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa; Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Bern, Switzerland

P Kellett, Cancer Epidemiology Research Group, National Cancer Registry, National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Keywords

Cancer epidemiology; South African National Cancer Registry; Cancer surveillance

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2015;105(2):107-109. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.8858

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-08-25
Date published: 2015-01-12

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