Center for Global Health and Development, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, Omaha, NE, USA
Cancer registration, an important component of cancer surveillance, is essential to a uni ed, scienti c and public health approach to cancer prevention and control. India has one of the highest cancer incidence and mortality rates in the world. A good surveillance system in the form of cancer registries is important for planning and evaluating cancer-control activities. Cancer registration in India was initiated in 1964 and expanded since 1982, through initiation of the National Cancer Registry Program (NCRP) by the Indian Council of Medical Research. NCRP currently has twenty-six population based registries and seven hospital based registries. Yet, Indian cancer registries, mostly in urban areas, cover less than 15% of the population. Other potential concerns about some Indian registries include accuracy and detail of information on cancer diagnosis, and timeliness in updating the registry databases. It is also important that necessary data collection related quality assurance measures be undertaken rigorously by the registries to ensure reliable and valid information availability. This paper reviews the current status of cancer registration in India and discusses some of the important pitfalls and issues related to cancer registration. Cancer registration in India should be complemented with a nationwide effort to foster systematic investigations of cancer patterns and trends by states, regions and sub populations and allow a continuous cycle of measurement, communication and action.