A registry of cancer cases in a defined jurisdiction, a state, province, or nation. Ideally, the registry collects information about every diagnosed case. The information comes from pathologic, radiologic, postoperative, and other diagnostic reports and from death certificate diagnoses. In many jurisdictions, it is transmitted routinely to the cancer registry without formal notification of patients or next of kin that information about them has been collected. In this respect, cancer registries follow the rules of a census bureau, and all who work in the registry with personal data must swear an oath of secrecy. In some nations in the European Union, this is an insufficient safeguard of personal privacy, and patients must give informed consent for the relevant information to be transmitted to the cancer registry. Inevitably, some decline to release personal information, thus defeating one of the purposes of the registry, comprehensive population coverage, a necessity for epidemiological study of rare cancers. Cancer registries have provided valuable information and statistical data for many studies of cancer causes and control, such as regional, occupational, and other variations in incidence and survival rates in relation to treatment methods.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.