Indices of data quality for the 2017 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 no evidence of cancer was available other than a statement on the death certificate that the person died from or with cancer. 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 2017 Australian Cancer Database, year of diagnosis 2016

Cancer site/type (ICD-10 codes)

No. of cases

MV%

DCO%

Lip cancer (C00)

832

99.4

0.0

Tongue cancer (C01–C02)

958

97.4

0.8

Mouth cancer (C03–C06)

615

96.1

1.1

Cancer of major salivary glands (C07–C08)

307

96.7

1.0

Oropharyngeal cancer (C09–C10)

708

97.2

0.4

Nasopharyngeal cancer (C11)

141

92.2

1.4

Hypopharyngeal cancer (C12–C13)

180

97.2

0.0

Cancer of other and ill-defined sites in the lip, oral cavity and pharnyx (C14)

72

80.6

5.6

Oesophageal cancer (C15)

1,508

93.2

2.0

Stomach cancer (C16)

2,255

95.1

1.6

Cancer of the small intestine (C17)

659

93.9

1.1

Colorectal cancer (C18–C20)

15,483

95.0

1.1

Anal cancer (C21)

466

97.9

0.2

Liver cancer (C22)

2,263

50.0

3.6

Cancer of the gallbladder and extrahepatic bile ducts (C23–C24)

1,041

81.3

1.7

Pancreatic cancer (C25)

3,458

74.1

3.8

Cancer of other and ill-defined digestive organs (C26)

265

55.8

27.9

Cancer of the nasal cavity, middle ear and sinuses (C30–C31)

198

96.5

0.5

Laryngeal cancer (C32)

614

95.9

0.5

Lung cancer (C33–C34)

12,438

84.8

3.0

Cancer of other thoracic and respiratory organs (C37–C39)

129

91.5

3.1

Bone cancer (C40–C41)

266

94.0

0.8

Melanoma of the skin (C43)

14,567

99.4

0.1

Non-melanoma of the skin (C44)

1,041

97.5

0.4

Mesothelioma (C45)

776

92.3

0.8

Kaposi sarcoma (C46)

49

91.8

0.0

Peritoneal cancer (C48)

218

92.2

0.0

Other soft tissue cancer (C47, C49)

797

94.4

0.4

Breast cancer (C50)

17,587

98.8

0.6

Vulvar cancer (C51)

388

98.7

0.8

Vaginal cancer (C52)

103

98.1

0.0

Cervical cancer (C53)

895

97.5

0.3

Uterine cancer (C54–C55)

2,774

98.3

0.8

Ovarian cancer (C56)

1,313

89.1

2.4

Cancer of other female genital organs and placenta (C57–C58)

359

97.8

0.6

Cancer of the penis (C60)

113

98.2

0.9

Prostate cancer (C61)

19,475

96.3

0.8

Testicular cancer (C62)

856

98.1

0.1

Cancer of other male genitals (C63)

42

95.2

2.4

Kidney cancer (C64)

3,677

90.8

1.5

Bladder cancer (C67)

2,810

91.4

2.6

Cancer of other urinary organs (C65–C66, C68)

505

88.9

2.0

Eye cancer (C69)

343

75.2

0.3

Brain cancer (C71)

1,789

86.2

1.5

Cancer of other central nervous system (C70, C72,C75.1–C75.3)

107

80.4

0.9

Thyroid cancer (C73)

2,946

98.9

0.1

Cancer of other endocrine glands (C74–C75.0,C75.4–C75.9)

103

91.3

2.9

Hodgkin lymphoma (C81)

688

99.0

0.1

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (C82–C86)

5,381

96.0

0.7

Immunoproliferative cancers (C88)

315

97.5

0.0

Multiple myeloma (C90.0)

1,997

91.9

1.6

Other plasma cell cancers (C90.1–C90.9)

94

93.6

1.1

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) (C91.0)

365

97.3

0.0

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) (C91.1)

1,910

90.1

1.8

Other and unspecified lymphoid leukaemias (C91.2–C91.9)

179

87.7

1.1

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) (C92.0, C92.3–C92.6, C92.8, C93.0, C94.0, C94.2, C94.4–C94.5)

1,042

91.5

1.5

Chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) (C92.1)

347

89.6

4.0

Other and unspecified myeloid leukaemias (C92.2, C92.7, C92.9, C93.1–C93.9, C94.6–C94.7)

432

89.8

2.5

Other and unspecified leukaemias (C94.1, C94.3, C95)

78

46.2

20.5

Myelodysplastic syndromes (D46)

1,487

81.8

3.3

Other cancers of blood and lymphatic system (C96, D45, D47.1, D47.3–D47.5)

1,402

78.5

2.2

Cancer of other and ill-defined sites (C76)

100

78.0

11.0

Cancer of unknown primary site (C80)

2,560

57.5

12.9

All cancers combined (C00–C97, D45, D46, D47.1, D47.3–D47.5)

136,866

92.4

1.5

Notes:

  1. 2016 is the most recent year for which data are available from all states and territories.
  2. Estimated data are excluded.
  3. 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, 2017