New study shows that U.S. National Cancer Institute database may be inaccurate
Jul 27, 2011
The statistics on breast cancer from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry, operated by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, are used by many researchers to study trends in cancer treatment. In breast cancer health news, a new study shows that SEER may be inaccurate.
According to HealthDay News, a new study conducted by a team from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center took data from SEER and compared it with the treatment reports of breast cancer patients in Los Angeles and Detroit.
The study found that around 20 percent of the patients from both cities who claimed receiving radiation therapy were not reported as such in SEER's database. Radiation treatment was improperly coded in roughly one third of L.A. and 11 percent of Detroit patients.
"With increased interest in comparative effectiveness research, more and more researchers are using registry databases like SEER," said lead study author Dr. Reshma Jagsi. "If the quality of the data in some of these databases has limitations, these must be understood to avoid potentially misleading conclusions that affect both clinical decision-making and policy."
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer death rates of women have steadily declined each year from 1998 to 2006 at a rate of 1.9 percent per year