Quality description


Cervical cancer screening

Quality description

A quality description of the cervical cancer screening statistics assesses the reliability and suitability of the statistics for different purposes. The quality description follows the recommendations of the Official Statistics of Finland (OSF).

Name of the producer of the statistics

Cancer Society of Finland

Grounds for compilation of the statistics

The maintaining of registers and compilation of statistics are based on the Act on the National Institute for Health and Welfare (668/2008), Act on National Personal Records Kept under the Health Care System (556/1989), Decree on National Personal Records Kept under the Health Care System (774/1989) and amendments to it, Personal Data Act (523/1999), Health Care Act (1326/2010) and Government Decree on Screenings (339/2011).

Relevance of statistical information

The statistics of population-based cervical cancer screening contain data on target population, those invited and screened, referrals for further examinations and results of screening and further examinations. The data are presented on a nation-wide basis and by regions and hospital districts. The statistics present data beginning from the year 1991.

The statistics are targeted at healthcare professionals, authorities, those responsible for planning and research and people, who need up-to-date information on cervical cancer screenings.

Concepts and definitions are included in a separate explanatory section. There is link to this section on the website of the Mass Screening Registry.

Methodological description

The screening data have been collected from all Finnish municipalities and laboratories, which are responsible for inviting the target population for screening, for implementing screening tests and carrying out further examinations for those who were screened.

Based on the Act on the National Institute for Health and Welfare (668/2008), data concerning all stages of the population-based screening have to be reported to the Mass Screening Registry, which is part of the Cancer Society of Finland. Data are to be submitted by the end of July on the year following the screening invitation. Data will be collected from municipalities, laboratories that carry out screening tests and from specialised care units, which are responsible for further examinations and potential treatment.

The Mass Screening Registry receives the screening data in electronic format. All incoming data and unclear cases are checked before entering them into a database.

Correctness and accuracy of data

The correctness of data depends on the quality of data provided by the municipalities and laboratories. The registered data will be compared to statistical data of the units, which carried out the screening tests, to previously registered screening data from the municipalities and laboratories and to cervical cancer data included in the Finnish Cancer Registry.

Possible errors will be corrected. As there is some delay in the reporting, data concerning previous years are currently being updated.

Timeliness and promptness of published data

The statistics are published annually, with a delay of approximately two years. The delay is due to the fact that data are submitted for registration for more than a year after initiation of the screenings. After submission all data will be checked and possible errors will be corrected.

Accessibility and transparency of data

The statistics are published on the website of the Mass Screening Registry. A link to these data is also provided on the website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare Data. Data are also published in printed format in statistical publications of the Finnish Cancer Registry.

The National Institute for Health and Welfare may grant permission for researchers to use screening data for scientific research purposes. For the permission to be granted, the researcher has to provide a register description and apply for a research-based authorisation from the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

Comparability of statistics

The statistics cover the years 1991–2011, which enables year-to-year comparisons of the data.

Cervical cancer screening data from as early as the 1980s have been entered in the electronic database of the Mass Screening Registry. However, data have been registered on a nation-wide basis only since the beginning of the 2000s. Statistics for the 2000s are still being updated.

The age data in the statistics are defined on the basis of the year of invitation for screening and the year of birth.

There has been some variation in the concepts used in the statistics between the 1990s and 2000s. The screening forms have been completely revised in 2005. Until 2005, cervical cytology samples were reported using Pap test classifications. Since 2006, the reporting of mass screening samples has been done by using the Bethesda System 2001, an internationally accepted classification system (TBS 2001). Since 2003, some of the municipalities have carried out HPV-tests as preferred primary screening tests. The result of the HPV test is recorded either as positive or negative. In the classification of tumours the old classification of the WHO is used, which does not make a distinction between squamous epithelial and glandular epithelial changes.

Clarity and consistency

The statistics contain all registered screening data for the years 1992–2011. The statistics for the 2000s cover whole Finland.

The data collection form for cervical cancer screening can be found on the website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare at the following address: http://www.thl.fi/fi_FI/web/fi/tutkimus/palvelut/koodistopalvelu

Breast cancer screening

Quality description

A quality description of the breast cancer screening statistics assesses the reliability and suitability of the statistics for different purposes. The quality description follows the recommendations of the Official Statistics of Finland (OSF).

Name of the producer of the statistics

Cancer Society of Finland

Grounds for compilation of the statistics

The maintaining of registers and compilation of statistics are based on the Act on the National Institute for Health and Welfare (668/2008), Act on National Personal Records Kept under the Health Care System (556/1989), Decree on National Personal Records Kept under the Health Care System (774/1989) and amendments to it, Personal Data Act (523/1999), Health Care Act (1326/2010) and Government Decree on Screenings (339/2011).

Relevance of statistical information

The statistics of population-based cervical cancer screening contain data on target population, those invited and screened, referrals for further examinations and results of screening and further examinations. The data are presented on a nation-wide basis and by regions and hospital districts. The statistics present data beginning from the year 1992.

The statistics are targeted at healthcare professionals, authorities, those responsible for planning and research and people, who need up-to-date information on cervical cancer screenings.

Concepts and definitions are included in a separate explanatory section. There is link to this section on the website of the Mass Screening Registry.

Methodological description

The screening data have been collected from all Finnish municipalities and laboratories, which are responsible for inviting the target population for screening, for implementing screening tests and carrying out further examinations for those who were screened.

Based on the Act on the National Institute for Health and Welfare (668/2008), data concerning all stages of the population-based screening have to be reported to the Mass Screening Registry, which is part of the Cancer Society of Finland. Data are to be submitted by the end of July on the year following the screening invitation. Data will be collected from municipalities, laboratories that carry out screening tests and from specialised care units, which are responsible for further examinations and potential treatment.

The Mass Screening Registry receives the screening data in electronic format. All incoming data and unclear cases are checked before entering them into a database.

Correctness and accuracy of data

The correctness of data depends on the quality of data provided by the municipalities and laboratories. The registered data will be compared to statistical data of the units, which carried out the screening tests, to previously registered screening data from the municipalities and laboratories and to cervical cancer data included in the Cancer Registry.

Possible errors will be corrected. As there is some delay in the reporting, data concerning previous years are currently being updated.

Timeliness and promptness of published data

The statistics are published annually, with a delay of approximately two years. The delay is due to the fact that data are submitted for registration for more than a year after initiation of the screenings. After submission all data will be checked and possible errors will be corrected.

Accessibility and transparency of data

The statistics are published on the website of the Mass Screening Registry. A link to these data is also provided on the website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare. Data are also published in printed format in statistical publications of the Finnish Cancer Registry.

The National Institute for Health and Welfare may grant permission for researchers to use screening data for scientific research purposes. For the permission to be granted, the researcher has to provide a register description and apply for a research-based authorisation from the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

Comparability of statistics

The statistics cover the years 1991–2011, which enables year-to-year comparisons of the data.

Breast cancer screening data from as early as the 1980s have been entered in the electronic database of the Mass Screening Registry. However, data have been registered on a nation-wide basis only since the beginning of the 2000s. Statistics for the 2000s are still being updated.

The age data in the statistics are defined on the basis of the year of invitation for screening and the year of birth.

The concepts used in the statistics have been uniform during the whole period under review. Tumours are classified by using the ICD-O-3 classification.

Clarity and consistency

The statistics contain all registered screening data for the years 1992–2011. The statistics for the 2000s cover whole Finland.

The data collection form for breast cancer screening can be found on the website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare at the following address: http://www.thl.fi/fi_FI/web/fi/tutkimus/palvelut/koodistopalvelu

Colorectal cancer screening

Quality description

A quality description of the colorectal cancer screening statistics assesses the reliability and suitability of the statistics for different purposes. The quality description follows the recommendations of the Official Statistics of Finland (OSF).

Relevance of statistical information

The statistics of randomised population-based colorectal cancer screening contain data on target population, those invited and screened, referrals for further examinations and results of screening and further examinations. The data presented cover whole Finland since the year 2004.

The statistics are targeted at healthcare professionals, authorities, those responsible for planning and research and people, who need up-to-date information on cancer screenings.

Concepts and definitions are included in a separate explanatory section. There is link to this section on the website of the Mass Screening Registry.

Colorectal Cancer Screening Registry is a study register, which is based on a mutual agreement between Stakes (today the National Institute for Health and Welfare [THL]) and the Cancer Society of Finland concerning registration of research data. An authorisation has been granted by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM), and later by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (STM/42/07/2004; THL/619/5.05.00/2010).

Methodological description

The screening data have been collected from those Finnish municipalities, which take part in the randomised population-based screening programme.

In accordance with the agreement concluded in 2003 between the Cancer Society of Finland and former Stakes (today the National Institute for Health and Welfare), data concerning all stages of the randomised population-based colorectal cancer screening have to be reported to the Mass Screening Registry, which is part of the Cancer Society of Finland.

The Mass Screening Registry receives the screening data in electronic format. All unclear cases are checked from the screening unit (which operates within Pirkanmaan Syöpäyhdistys), from the municipalities which take part in the screening programme or from the hospital, which has taken care of the treatment.

Correctness and accuracy of data

As for screening, the correctness of data is ensured. This is due to the fact that the whole country uses a common system, which regulates the screening procedures and the data submitted for registration are received through this system. Data from further examinations (e.g. cancers detected by screening) are compared to the data included in the Finnish Cancer Registry, when the importance of results is evaluated. The data from further examinations are collected and sent to the screening centre through contact persons in municipalities. Sometimes data are collected directly from hospitals responsible for treatment.

Timeliness and promptness of published data

The preliminary statistics are published annually, immediately after the end of the screening year. The final screening statistics, including findings from further examinations, are published with a delay of approximately one year.

Accessibility and transparency of data

The statistics are published on the website of the Mass Screening Registry. A link to these data is also provided on the website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare. Data are also published in printed format in statistical publications of the Finnish Cancer Registry.

The Cancer Registry may disclose data to be used for scientific research purposes. For the disclosure of data the researcher has to apply for an authorisation from the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

Comparability of statistics

The statistics cover the years 2004–2012, which enables year-to-year comparisons of the data.

Colorectal cancer screening data have been entered in the electronic database of the Mass Screening Registry since the beginning of these screenings. Data are constantly updated as needed.

The age data in the statistics are defined on the basis of the year of invitation for screening and the year of birth.

The concepts used in the statistics have been uniform during the whole period under review. Tumours are classified by using the ICD-O-3 classification.

Clarity and consistency

The statistics contain comprehensive screening data for the years 2004–2012, including data on those invited and screened, screening test results and cancer and adenoma findings in further examinations.