Indices of data quality for the 2019 Australian Cancer Database

The following two indices are commonly used to assess the completeness and accuracy of incidence data in cancer registries. A detailed discussion of how they are used can be found in Cancer Incidence in Five Continents.

Percentage of cases that were microscopically verified (MV%)

Microscopic verification is the gold standard for diagnosing cancer. The MV% is the percentage of registered cases for which the diagnosis was microscopically verified. A high MV% suggests higher quality data. A low MV% suggests (1) incomplete notification of pathology reports and therefore possibly lower accuracy of diagnoses, and (2) incomplete notification of cancers for which histology is often the only source of notification, e.g. melanoma of the skin.

Percentage of cases that are death certificate only (DCO%)

The DCO% is the percentage of registered cases for which the only notification of cancer to the cancer registry was the death certificate. A low DCO% suggests higher quality data. A high DCO% suggests incomplete incidence notification. Also, such diagnoses may be less accurate.

Indices of data quality for the 2019 Australian Cancer Database, year of diagnosis 2019
Cancer site/type (ICD-10 codes)No. of casesMV%DCO%
Lip (C00)84999.20.0
Tongue (C01–C02)1,08197.30.8
Mouth (C03–C06)68696.50.9
Parotid gland (C07)29298.60.7
Submandibular gland (C08.0)46100.00.0
Sublingual gland (C08.1)2100.00.0
Overlapping and unspecified major salivary glands (C08.8–C08.9)31100.00.0
Tonsil and oropharynx (C09–C10)84696.70.1
Nasopharynx (C11)16992.31.8
Pyriform sinus and hypopharynx (C12–C13)15594.20.6
Other and ill-defined sites in lip, oral cavity and pharynx (C14)4987.88.2
Oesophagus (C15)1,66593.61.9
Stomach (C16)2,43995.11.2
Small intestine (C17)76494.41.3
Colon (C18)10,63493.51.7
Rectum and rectosigmoid junction (C19–C20)4,89795.80.8
Anus and anal canal (C21)52497.30.0
Liver (C22)2,41652.95.0
Gallbladder (C23)35580.32.8
Extrahepatic bile duct (C24.0)36075.32.2
Ampulla of Vater (C24.1)19891.92.5
Overlapping and unspecified sites in biliary tract (C24.8–C24.9)18463.69.8
Pancreas (C25)3,75175.15.4
Other and ill-defined digestive organs (C26)32459.324.7
Nasal cavity (C30.0)11397.31.8
Middle ear (C30.1)6100.00.0
Sinuses (C31)9497.90.0
Larynx (C32)59894.12.2
Lung, bronchus and trachea (C33–C34)13,14086.23.3
Thymus, heart, mediastinum, pleura and ill-defined sites in respiratory and intrathoracic organs (C37–C39)16493.31.2
Bones, joints and articular cartilage (C40–C41)23794.91.3
Melanoma of the skin (C43)15,62899.20.2
Non-melanoma of the skin (C44)1,26997.20.8
Mesothelioma (C45)77690.72.6
Kaposi sarcoma (C46)5396.20.0
Peripheral nerves and autonomic nervous system (C47)3494.10.0
Peritoneum and retroperitoneum (C48)21691.20.5
Connective, subcutaneous and other soft tissue (C49)75296.40.8
Breast (C50)18,65998.80.5
Vulva (C51)39896.71.8
Vagina (C52)9498.90.0
Cervix (C53)94596.31.0
Uterus (C54–C55)2,93198.20.6
Ovary (C56)1,28489.82.6
Other and unspecified female genital organs (C57)45795.81.8
Placenta (C58)1070.00.0
Penis (C60)12297.51.6
Prostate (C61)23,02796.60.9
Testis (C62)91399.30.0
Other and unspecified male genital organs (C63)3594.30.0
Kidney (C64)4,06190.41.9
Renal pelvis (C65)31388.81.0
Ureter (C66)17090.61.8
Bladder (C67)2,81591.03.4
Urethra (C68.0)3594.32.9
Paraurethral gland (C68.1)1100.00.0
Overlapping and unspecified sites in urinary tract (C68.8–C68.9)4770.212.8
Eye and adnexa (C69)30574.41.0
Brain (C71)1,82886.12.6
Other and unspecified parts of central nervous system (C70, C72, C75.1–C75.3)13572.61.5
Thyroid (C73)3,46698.90.2
Other and unspecified endocrine glands and related structures (C74, C75.0, C75.4–C75.9)17591.42.3
Hodgkin lymphoma (C81)71698.50.0
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (C82–C86)5,74396.10.7
Immunoproliferative cancers (C88)39495.90.5
Multiple myeloma (C90.0)2,16392.21.8
Other plasma cell cancers (C90.1–C90.9)8191.42.5
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (C91.0)39798.00.3
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (C91.1)1,85594.01.3
Other and unspecified lymphoid leukaemias (C91.2–C91.9, C94.7)17294.80.6
Acute myeloid leukaemia (C92.0, C92.3–C92.8, C93.0, C94.0, C94.2, C94.4–C94.5)1,20692.01.6
Chronic myeloid leukaemia (C92.1)39889.83.0
Chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (including juvenile) (C93.1, C93.3)33486.81.2
Other and unspecified myeloid leukaemias (C92.2, C92.9, C93.2, C93.7, C93.9, C94.6)1492.90.0
Other and unspecified leukaemias (C95)7835.946.2
Myeloproliferative neoplasms excluding chronic myeloid leukaemia (C94.1, D45, D47.1, D47.3–D47.5)1,41282.32.6
Myelodysplastic syndromes (D46)1,55979.74.1
Other blood cancers (C94.3, C96)9793.80.0
Other and ill-defined sites (C76)15880.47.0
Unknown primary site (C80)2,78652.320.7
All cancers combined (C00–C97, D45, D46, D47.1, D47.3–D47.5)147,58692.51.9


  1. The categories “non-melanoma of the skin” and “all cancers combined” exclude basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin.

Source: AIHW Australian Cancer Database, 2019.