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J Registry Manag. 2021;48(1):36-43.

Attribute Associations as a Practical Approach to Account for Uncertainty in Residential Geolocation of Cancer Surveillance Data.

Journal of registry management

Christian A Klaus, Carson Coggins, Kevin A Henry, Suzanne Bock, Dora Il'yasova

PMID: 34170894


This methodology article proposes a basic framework for assessing confidence in residential address through attribute sets of the tumor record that enable or modify spatiotemporal relationships in cancer surveillance data. A first step in assessing confidence for a statutory downstream data steward, like the Central Cancer Registry (CCR), is identifying sets of attributes whose domains are independently controlled by data stewards outside of the CCR. These include attribute sets that comprise the digital entities of person, time, and place. In this article, we describe the uncertainty in the geolocation of a cancer patient at the time of diagnosis, focusing on multiple stewardship of the cancer surveillance data. We also propose an approach to account for this uncertainty that is practical within the framework of existing cancer registry data coding, processing conventions, and legislative mandates for cancer surveillance.

Keywords: attribute association; cancer; cancer cluster; geocoding; health informatics; population registry; residential geolocation; statutory stewardship

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