Public Release: 

Cancer registries in resource-constrained countries can inform policy to reduce cancer burden

Special issue published in Cancer Epidemiology demonstrates that registration costs as little as $0.01 per person and can influence policies on cancer prevention, early diagnosis and treatment


Oxford, December 15, 2016 - Data from population-based cancer registries are vital for informing health programs, policies and strategies for cancer screening and treatment. A special issue of Cancer Epidemiology, prepared under the auspices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offers lessons for planning and supporting cancer registration in resource-constrained settings to support data-driven policies on cancer prevention, early detection and appropriate treatment leading to significant cost savings for government and society as a whole.

The Guest Editors of the special issue, Dr. Florence Tangka and Dr. Mona Saraiya of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Sujha Subramanian and Dr. Patrick Edwards of RTI International (contractor), note that there are substantial differences in the existence, geographical coverage and quality of cancer registration across the world. Dr. Tangka commented: "There is almost 100% coverage in North America, but less than 10% in Central and South America, Asia and Africa. These countries are essentially fighting cancer blindfolded as they often can't know how to best direct their resources."

Dr. Subramanian added: "The articles in the special issue show that lack of continuous and sustained support for surveillance infrastructure can disrupt data collection and lead to the inefficient use of resources. Although cancer registries incur substantial set-up costs, once established the cost per case is low and countries then benefit from economies of scale. This special issue of Cancer Epidemiology establishes baseline information to identify efficiencies in data collection, which is consistently reported as a high cost for registries. We hope that these findings will encourage other countries to establish registries."

The special issue reviews cancer registries in Kenya, Uganda, Colombia, India (Mumbai), and Barbados. and offers lessons for other countries with similar resource constraints.


Notes for editors

The special issue, Cost of Cancer Registration, is published in Cancer Epidemiology, volume 45, Supplement 1 (December 2016), published by Elsevier.

Studies included in this issue are available to credentialed journalists upon request; please contact Elsevier's Newsroom at or +31 20 485 2492.

About Cancer Epidemiology

Cancer Epidemiology: the international journal for cancer epidemiology, detection and prevention is dedicated to increasing understanding about cancer causes, prevention and control. The scope of the journal embraces all aspects of cancer epidemiology including: descriptive epidemiology and statistics; studies of risk factors for disease initiation, development and prognosis; screening, early detection and accurate diagnosis; prevention and evaluation of interventions; and methodological issues and theory.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions -- among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey -- and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

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