Casefinding is a system for locating every patient-inpatient or outpatient- who is diagnosed and/or treated with a reportable diagnosis. Casefinding is like casting a net far and wide to "capture" all of the reportable cancer cases.
In the casefinding process, a tracking system is kept so that the status of casefinding can be ascertained at any time. A printout of cases already entered is also kept in the registry; potential new cases can be checked against the list and eliminated if they have already been identified.
All registries must perform casefinding, including hospital-specific and central or population-based registries. Although these registries may use different source documents, the procedures involved in casefinding cycles are similar.
Most government agencies only require malignant (ICD-O behavior codes 2 and 3) cases to be included in the registry. However, hospital cancer committees or even some central registries may require the registry to include benign or borderline/uncertain cases. Examples include benign brain tumors or carcinoid tumors of the appendix.
The cancer committee must decide the data set and policy as to whether patient follow-up is done for the reportable cases and also to establish the reportable list. The reportable list should be posted in the registry's policies and procedures. The [glossary term:] casefinding cycle would be the same for these cases as for the cases required by the government agencies.
The criteria for eligible cases in a registry depend upon the governing agencies of the registry. Along with state-specific reportable cases, registries participating in the Approvals Program of the Commission on Cancer (COC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) must use the [glossary term:] reportable list defined by the COC.
Casefinding is an important part of the cancer registry. A system to monitor prospective cases must be in place in different areas of an institution. The completeness of casefinding must be monitored for quality control purposes.