South African National Cancer Registry: Effect of withheld data from private health systems on cancer incidence estimates

  • E Singh
  • JM Underwood
  • C Nuttey
  • C Babb
  • M Sengayi
  • P Kellett


Background. The National Cancer Registry (NCR) was established as a pathology-based cancer reporting system. From 2005 to 2007, private health laboratories withheld cancer reports owing to concerns regarding voluntary sharing of patient data.
Objectives. To estimate the impact of under-reported cancer data from private health laboratories.
Methods. A linear regression analysis was conducted to project expected cancer cases for 2005 - 2007. Differences between actual and projected figures were calculated to estimate percentage under-reporting.
Results. The projected NCR case total varied from 53 407 (3.8% net increase from actual cases reported) in 2005 to 54 823 (3.7% net increase) in 2007. The projected number of reported cases from private laboratories in 2005 was 26 359 (19.7% net increase from actual cases reported), 27 012 (18.8% net increase) in 2006 and 27 666 (28.4% net increase) in 2007.
Conclusion. While private healthcare reporting decreased by 28% from 2005 to 2007, this represented a minimal impact on overall cancer reporting (net decrease of <4%).


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135