Estimation of Cancer Cases Using Capture-Recapture Method in Northwest Iran

  • Ghojazadeh, Morteza (Liver and Gastrointestinal Disease Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Mohammadi, Marziye (Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Azami-Aghdash, Saber (Health Services Management Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Sadighi, Alireza (Department of Neurosurgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison) ;
  • Piri, Reza (Students' Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Naghavi-Behzad, Mohammad (Medical Philosophy and History Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2013.05.30


Background: Under-ascertainment and over-ascertainment are common phenomena in surveillance and registry systems of health-related events. Capture-recapture is one of the methods which is applied to determine the sensitivity of surveillance or registry systems to recognize cancer cases. This study aimed to estimate the number of cancers using data available both in the Cancer Registry Center of Northwestern Iran and in the Population-based Cancer Registry Center of Iran. Material and Methods: The studied population consisted of all cancerous cases in the northwest of Iran from 2008 to 2010. All data were extracted from two resources and entered into Microsoft Excel software. After removing common and repeat cases the data were statistically analyzed using a capture-recapture studies' specific software "CARE 1.4". Estimations were calculated by Chapman and Petersen methods with the approximate confidence interval of 95%. Results: From 2008 to 2010, the number of all cancer cases was estimated to be 21,652 (CI 95%: 19,863-22,101). Sensitivity rate of all cancer cases was 83.9% and that of Population-based Cancer Registry Center of Iran was 52%. It was 93.1% considering both resources. Conclusion: Using two resources and the capture-recapture method rather than a single resource may be a more reliable method to estimate the number of cancer cases.


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