Accounting for Immigrant Status when Calculating Cancer Incidence Rates for Bangkok

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Cancer Registry Unit, National Cancer Institute, Ratchathewi Road, Bangkok, Thailand.

2 Cancer Epidemiology and Population Health, Centre for Population Health Research, University of South Australia, Australia.

3 Health System Development National Cancer Institute Bangkok, Thailand


Objective: Cancer-registry data are crucial for definingcancer incidence rates for use in setting service priorities
and monitoringservice effects. This applies in Thailand where cancer is the leading cause of death and service needs
are high. The Bangkok Cancer Registry (population-based) was established in 1990to determine cancer incidence rates
for Bangkok. This proved difficult, however, because the Bangkokpopulation (>8million) fluctuates with numbers of
temporary visitors, many of whom visit Bangkok temporarily for services. If these visitors are mis-categorized as
usual residents, cancer incidence rateswould be inflated. During 2013-2015, residential addresses on the Registry
were cross-checked against official addresses on the National Civil Registration records of the Ministry of Interior.
The effectsof this cross-checking on incidence rates are discussed. Methods: Residential addresses recorded on
the Registry for cancer diagnoses in 2013-2015 were corrected using official Ministry data. Effects on numbers of
recorded cancers and crude and directly age-standardized rates (World Population) were determined. Results: Of 44,813
cancer casesdiagnosed and recorded on the Registryduring 2013-2015, 36,327 (81.1%) had an official Bangkok
address. When limiting analyses to these cases, the crude incidencefor all cancer sites combined reduced by 18.9%
(19.7% for males and 18.3% for females). Corresponding reductions in age-standardized incidence rates were 20.0%
for males and 18.8% for females. These reductions varied for common cancer sites:in males,from 14.8% for lung to
25.9% for colorectal cancer; and in females, from 12.9% for lung to 24.0% for cervical cancer. Conclusions: These
differences are considered sufficient in magnitude to justifyroutine use of official residential data when calculating
cancer incidence rates for Bangkok. If these rates are to be compared with comparable rates for other Asian citiesthat
serve broader populations, equivalent methodologies for determining residential status would be needed for all cities.


Main Subjects

Volume 20, Issue 3
March 2019
Pages 737-741
  • Receive Date: 16 May 2018
  • Revise Date: 20 August 2018
  • Accept Date: 25 September 2018
  • First Publish Date: 01 March 2019