U.S. Cancer Statistics Publication Criteria
U.S Cancer Statistics incidence data are from central cancer registries that have high-quality cancer incidence data. The U.S. Cancer Statistics publication criteria are—
- No more than 5% of cases are ascertained solely on the basis of a death certificate.
A measure of the completeness of case ascertainment is the proportion of cases ascertained solely on the basis of a death certificate, with no other information on the case available after the registry has completed a routine procedure known as “death clearance and followback.”1 2 3
- No more than 3% of cases are missing information on sex.
- No more than 3% of cases are missing information on age.
- No more than 5% of cases are missing information on race.
- At least 97% of the registry’s records passed a CDC-prescribed set of standard computerized edits.
Computerized edits are computer programs that test the validity and logic of data components. For example, if an 80-year-old patient was diagnosed with cancer in 2000, and the patient’s year of birth was reported as 1980, a computerized edit could identify these facts as incompatible. The computerized edits applied to the data in this report were designed by the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program for use by SEER registries. During the 1990s, these edits were expanded and incorporated into North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) standards and into the NPCR-EDITS software designed and maintained by CDC. Edits, and the accompanying software, are reviewed and updated routinely to maintain consistency with clinical practices and abstracting and coding standards.
After years of analyzing completeness of case ascertainment, CDC has determined that NPCR registries consistently deliver high-quality, complete data.4 5 6 7 The completeness of case ascertainment calculation was discontinued as a measure of eligibility for publication in U.S. Cancer Statistics data products starting with the November 2016 submission data. Although the completeness estimate is no longer a criterion for USCS, it will continue to be used to monitor and evaluate progress in meeting NPCR standards.
- Havener L. Standards for Cancer Registries, Vol III: Standards for Completeness, Quality, Analysis, and Management of Data. Springfield (IL): North American Association of Central Cancer Registries; 2004.
- Gress D, Mulvihill L, Corrigan L. Hill S, editors. Cancer Registry Management: Principles and Practice. Fourth edition. Alexandria, VA: National Cancer Registrars Association; 2021.
- NAACCR Death Clearance Work Group. Death Clearance Manual: Minimum Requirements and Best Practices for Conducting Death Clearance. Springfield, IL: North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, December 2014.
- Tucker TC, Howe HL, Weir HK. Certification of population-based cancer registries. Journal of Registry Management 1999;26(1):24–27.
- Tucker TC, Howe HL. Measuring the quality of population-based cancer registries: the NAACCR perspective. Journal of Registry Management 2001;28(1):41–44.
- Johnson CJ, Weir HK, Mariotto AB, Nishri D, Wilson R, Copeland G, Lake A, Firth R, Wohler B, Wu XC, Schymura M, Hofferkamp J, Sherman R, Kohler B (eds). Cancer in North America: 2009–2013 Volume Four: Cancer Survival in the United States and Canada 2006–2012. Springfield, IL: North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, Inc.; 2016.
- Howe HL. Conclusions of the Workgroup for High-Quality Criteria for Data Use: The NAACCR Narrative. Springfield (IL): North American Association of Central Cancer Registries; 2001.