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||Assessment of follow-up, and the completeness and accuracy of cancer case ascertainment in three areas of India.
||Mathew A, Daniel CR, Ferrucci LM, Seth T, Devesa SS, George PS, Shetty H, Devasenapathy N, Yurgalevitch S, Rastogi T, Prabhakaran D, Gupta PC, Chatterjee N, Sinha R
||BACKGROUND: A prospective study of diet and cancer has not been conducted in India; consequently, little is known regarding follow-up rates or the completeness and accuracy of cancer case ascertainment. METHODS: We assessed follow-up in the India Health Study (IHS; 4671 participants aged 35-69 residing in New Delhi, Mumbai, or Trivandrum). We evaluated the impact of medical care access and relocation, re-contacted the IHS participants to estimate follow-up rates, and conducted separate studies of cancer cases to evaluate registry coverage (604 cases in Trivandrum) and the accuracy of self- and proxy-reporting (1600 cases in New Delhi and Trivandrum). RESULTS: Over 97% of people reported seeing a doctor and 85% had lived in their current residence for over six years. The 2-year follow-up rate was 91% for Trivandrum and 53% for New Delhi. No cancer cases were missed among public institutions participating in the surveillance program in Trivandrum during 2003-2004; but there are likely to be unmatched cases (ranging from 5 to 13% of total cases) from private hospitals in the Trivandrum registry, as there are no mandatory reporting requirements. Vital status was obtained for 36% of cancer cases in New Delhi as compared to 78% in Trivandrum after a period of 4 years. CONCLUSIONS: A prospective cohort study of cancer may be feasible in some centers in India with active follow-up to supplement registry data. Inclusion of cancers diagnosed at private institutions, unique identifiers for individuals, and computerized medical information would likely improve cancer registries.