Research Article

Death certification in cancer of the breast.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 25 August 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:465
  1. D Brinkley,
  2. J L Haybittle,
  3. M R Alderson


    The cause of death entered on the death certificates of 193 patients originally diagnosed as having cancer of the breast was compared with information obtained from clinical records, cancer registry records, and necropsy findings to determine the accuracy of death certification and the proportion of patients who, though dying from another cause, still had overt signs of cancer of the breast. It was found that the overall error in certifying cause of death as breast cancer was small, being an underestimate of about 4%. About a third of patients with breast cancer dying from other causes had overt signs of breast cancer at the time of death.