History of Cancer Registration in the Philippines


The first attempt at cancer registration in the Philippines was in 1959 when the Philippine Cancer Society tried unsuccessfullyto organize a National Cancer Registry. In 1968, the Philippine Cancer Society launched the Central TumorRegistry of the Philippines (CTRP), covering 25 hospitals in Metro Manila and one in Cebu, relying completely on passivenotifications.The Department of Health-Rizal Cancer Registry (DOH-RCR), the first population-based cancer registry in the Philippines,was launched in 1974 as an activity of the Community Cancer Control Program of Rizal. Its catchment area is the originalprovince of Rizal with its 26 municipalities, comprising a land area of 1343 sq. kms. Although twelve of its municipalitieswere incorporated to the National Capital Region in 1975, the registry maintained the same catchment area. Initially, theDOH-RCR relied solely on passive notifications from physicians and hospitals but it shifted to an active method of datacollection in 1980, due to a high degree of underreporting. A retrospective collection of data on cancer cases diagnosed from1978 onwards was carried out in 69 hospitals in Metro Manila and in Rizal province. Death certificates were reviewed tocomplete data collection. The 1978-82 data from the DOH-RCR were analyzed at the International Agency for Researchon Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France and published in ‘Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Vol. V’ in 1987.In 1983, the CTRP was re-oriented to become the second population-based cancer registry in the Philippines and wasrenamed as the Philippine Cancer Society-Manila Cancer Registry (PCS-MCR). Its catchment area, a total land area of266.5 sq. km, include the four cities of Manila, Pasay, Caloocan and Quezon City. In 1984, it began a cooperative effortwith the DOH-RCR, and adopting the active method of data collection, covered 72 hospitals and 30 local civil registryoffices within the National Capital Region and Rizal province, retrospectively collecting data on cancer cases diagnosedfrom 1980 onwards Currently, both registries cover 131 hospitals.The third population-based registry in the Philippines, the Cebu Cancer Registry (CCR), was founded in February 1988as an activity of the the RAFI-Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC)). Its catchment area, a land area of 793 sq km.,includes the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-lapu and the eight municipalities of Talisay, Minglanilla, Naga, San Fernando,Cordova, Consolacion, Liloan, and Compostela. Using the active method of data collection, the CCR retrospectivelygathers information on cancer cases from 1983 onwards from 22 hospitals, 3 laboratories 2 oncology clinics and 11 localcivil registry offices. Its ten-year data (1983-1992) has been analyzed with the assistance of the IARC and is being preparedfor publication. Details of the data could not be released pending its publication.The fourth population-based cancer registry in the Philippines, the Davao Cancer Registry (DCR) was initially started in1991 but was not continued. In 1998, with support from the Andres Soriano Cancer Foundation, the Davao Doctors Hospital,and the PCS-Davao Division, the registry was re-launched, with Davao City as its catchment area, with an estimatedland area of 2, 211.3 sq. km. Using the active method of data collection, data for 1993-1997 has been completed and arecurrently being analyzed.