What is a Cancer Registry?

Cancer registries are data information systems that manage and analyze data on cancer patients and survivors. Cancer registries are maintained to ensure that health officials have accurate and timely information on cancer incidence, treatment, and survivorship. 

How Cancer Registries Work
Watch CDC’s Video! Cancer Registries: Measuring Progress. Targeting Action 

There are three types of cancer registries:

  • Hospital Registries

Hospital registries serve as the starting point for cancer surveillance. They document diagnosis and treatment on all patients. The cases in hospital registries are reported to the central or state cancer registry.

  • Central or State Registries

Central or state registries combine and maintain data on all cancers occurring in the state’s population. They collect data from all hospitals, pathology laboratories, physicians, and other sources.

  • Special Purpose Registries

Special purpose registries maintain data on a type of cancer, such as brain tumors, or a special population, such as Native Americans.