Background: Under-ascertainment and over-ascertainment are common phenomena in surveillance andregistry systems of health-related events. Capture-recapture is one of the methods which is applied to determinethe sensitivity of surveillance or registry systems to recognize cancer cases. This study aimed to estimate thenumber of cancers using data available both in the Cancer Registry Center of Northwestern Iran and in thePopulation-based Cancer Registry Center of Iran. Material and
Methods: The studied population consistedof all cancerous cases in the northwest of Iran from 2008 to 2010. All data were extracted from two resourcesand entered into Microsoft Excel software. After removing common and repeat cases the data were statisticallyanalyzed using a capture-recapture studies’ specific software “CARE 1.4”. Estimations were calculated byChapman and Petersen methods with the approximate confidence interval of 95%.
Results: From 2008 to2010, the number of all cancer cases was estimated to be 21,652 (CI 95%: 19,863-22,101). Sensitivity rate of allcancer cases was 83.9% and that of Population-based Cancer Registry Center of Iran was 52%. It was 93.1%considering both resources.
Conclusion: Using two resources and the capture-recapture method rather than asingle resource may be a more reliable method to estimate the number of cancer cases.