Estimating the Completeness of Lung Cancer Registry in Ardabil, Iran with a Three-Source Capture-Recapture Method


Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Health, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran E-mail:


Cancer registration is an important component of a comprehensive cancer control program, providing timely data and information for research and administrative use. Capture-recapture methods have been used as tools to investigate completeness of cancer registry data. This study aimed to estimate the completeness of lung cancer cases registered in Ardabil Population Based Cancer Registry (APBCR) with a three-source capture-recapture method. Data for all new cases of lung cancer reported by three sources (pathology reports, death certificates, and medical records) to APBCR for 2006 and 2008 were obtained. Duplicate cases shared among the three sources were identified based on similarity of first name, last name and father’s names. A log-linear model was used to estimate number of missed cases and to control for dependency among sources. A total of 218 new cases of lung cancer was reported by three sources after removing duplicates. The estimated completeness calculated by log-linear method was 26.4 for 2006 and 27.1 for 2008. The completeness differed according to gender. In men, the completeness was 26.0% for 2006 and 28.1 for 2008. In women, the completeness was 36.5% for 2006 and 46.9 for 2008. In conclusion, none of the three sources can be considered as a reliable source for accurate cancer incidence estimation.