Cancer Registration in Pakistan : Contemporary State of Affairs


An estimated 7.6 million mortalities were attributed to cancers in 2005 across the globe, and the figures keepmounting. The existing prevalence rate for all reportable cancers is at 25 million, projected to ascend to 30million around year 2020. Some 70% of these will burden the health care services in under-resourced countries.However, reliable statistics on the incidence, prevalence, mortality and survival rates (five and ten year) arelimited. A National Cancer Control Program (NCCP) inPakistan has existed since 1994, but little is known tothe public and negligible information has been made available to medical services providers. We have a povertyof local bio-medical literature related to the specialties like oncology and cancer epidemiology. Only 175 papersare indexed by Pakmedinet, seven being relevant to the cancer registration in Pakistan, an impetus forprogrammed documentation, and to serve as a foundation for approach to Cyber-medicine. Infrastructure andample requisite manpower exists locally and a number of local institutions as well as outside sources are teamingup. However, there are still quite a few issues to be looked into, including the question of who will own the dataarising from this pooling of assets? A community-based approach is mandatory to allay public concerns overconfidentiality and possible use of the registry data. Already, there are hurdles in attaining public approvalafter the intentions to found a National Cancer Registry were ventilated by the Pakistan Medical ResearchCouncil.