History of Population Based Cancer Registries in India


The challenge of population based cancer registration in developing countries is enormous. The first population basedcancer registry named Bombay Cancer Registry, was established by the Indian Cancer Society in Mumbai (formerly Bombay)in 1963 covering the urban population of the Mumbai Agglomeration. This was followed by the setting up of threesatellite registries of the Bombay Cancer Registry in the State of Maharashtra at Pune (in 1972), Aurangabad (in 1978) andNagpur (in 1983). Realising cancer as a significant health problem and the need to implement cancer control activity inthe country, the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) was launched by the Indian Council of Medical Researchof Government of India. The main objectives of NCRP were (i) to generate authentic data on the magnitude of cancerproblem (ii) to undertake epidemiological investigations and advise control measures and (iii) to promote human resourcedevelopment in cancer epidemiology. By this way, two new population based cancer registries were founded in Chennai(formerly Madras) and Bangalore in 1981, besides augmenting the Bombay Cancer Registry, with the systematic data collectionstarting on 1st January 1982. Subsequently, new population based cancer registries were commissioned in Bhopal(in 1984) and New Delhi (in 1986) and a rural registry in Barshi, Maharashtra (1987). All of the above mentioned urbanpopulation based cancer registries cover about 13% of the country’s urban population1 and rural registry covers 0.1%1 ofrural population. The existence of the population based cancer registries of India, to date, is given in Table 1.