Validation of Cancer Cases

Reported by the Carlsbad Community

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is aware of the concerns of Carlsbad residents regarding cancer cases in their community, and is following appropriate procedures to handle case reports from residents. Staff members are collecting the reports and securely transmitting them directly to the California Cancer Registry (CCR) in Sacramento.

The CCR validation process follows the steps outlined below:

  1. For each case, review all information.
  2. All information submitted is used to determine if the case is part of the CCR database.  For example, some cases had only a first name, age or date of birth, city of residence, and type of cancer.  In some of these cases, CCR staff members were able to find the patient in the database.
  3. If a case is not found in the CCR database, the reason why the case was not found is documented.  Some examples include:
    1. There was no name given
    2. The case was diagnosed prior to 1988 (when the CCR started to collect data)
    3. The case diagnosed in late 2009 or early 2010 and has not yet been reported to the CCR by the medical provider.
  4. Each individual case is counted only once.  There were some people who appeared on the community list more than once.

The purpose of sending case reports directly to County of San Diego HHSA and the CCR is to provide an additional opportunity to check that the case is in the CCR statewide surveillance system.  The 2009 and 2010 data still cannot be formally analyzed until the CCR database is completed with all information about the diagnosis and treatment.  However, having this data from the community will serve as an additional tool for the registry to assess the completeness of the data.  If the CCR receives a significantly higher than expected number of reports of a single type of cancer, then a more extensive investigation may be initiated for those cases before the entire year of cases is completed.

The CCR will discuss the findings of the community case validation at the next Community Forum.  These findings will also be posted on the County website after the Community Forum for those who are not able to attend.