Can we achieve 100% ascertainment in cancer registration?

Public Health. 1989 Jan;103(1):23-30. doi: 10.1016/s0033-3506(89)80098-8.


Completeness of ascertainment is a central issue for any disease register. We outline the process of cancer registration as carried out in a large population-based Registry and argue that none of the various methods proposed to estimate the completeness of ascertainment are satisfactory. We suggest an alternative way of looking at the issue and describe various constraints that hamper attempts to achieve complete registration.

MeSH terms

  • Death Certificates
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Quality Control
  • Registries*
  • State Medicine