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Cancer incidence and outcomes registries in an Australian context: a systematic review.

BACKGROUND: Multiple cancer registries in Australia are used to track the incidence of cancer and the outcomes of their treatment. These registries can be broadly classed into a few types with an increasing number of registries comes a greater potential for collaboration and linkage. This article aims to critically review cancer registry types in Australia and evaluate the Australian Cancer registry landscape to identify these areas.

METHODS: A systematic review was performed through MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library, updated to September 2022 using a predefined search strategy. Inclusion criteria were those that only analysed Australian and/or New Zealand based cancer registries, appraised the utility of cancer outcomes and/or incidence registries, and explored the utility of linked databases using cancer outcomes and/or incidence registries. The grey literature was searched for all operating cancer registries in Australia. Details of registry infrastructure was extracted for analysis and comparison.

RESULTS: Three thousand two hundred and sixteen articles identified from the three databases. Twelve met the inclusion criteria. Twenty-eight registries were identified using the grey literature. Strengths and weaknesses of Cancer Outcome Registries(COR) and Cancer Incidence Registries(CIR) were compared. Data linkage between registries or with other healthcare databases show great benefits in improving evidence for cancer research but are challenging to implement. Both registry types utilize differing modes of administration, influencing their accuracy and completeness.

CONCLUSION: Outcome registries provide detailed data but their weakness lies in incomplete data coverage. Incidence registries record a large dataset which contain inaccuracies. Improving coverage of quality outcome registries, and quality assurance of data in incidence registries is required to ensure collection of accurate, meaningful data. Areas for collaboration identified included establishment of defined definitions and outcomes, data linkage between registry types or with healthcare databases, and collaboration in logistical planning to improve clinical utility of cancer registries.

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