Establishment of an Asian Cancer Registry Network - Problems and Perspectives


Cancer registration is the base for our understanding of the burden of neoplastic disease in our populations at thelocal, regional and national levels. Comparability of data is essential for interpretation and this in turn depends onstandardization of methodology and the diagnostic and other criteria applied. If this is to be achieved across Asia,some form of international organization is clearly necessary. The question therefore should be whether the existingarrangement is adequate, and if this is not the case how a network in Asia might be established with due considerationof aims and attainable objectives. The present commentary focuses on the contributions made by the InternationalAssociation of Cancer Registries (IACR) and individual country-based or region-based associations already activein Asia. Building on an analysis of the present status in Asia, as well as experience of the European Network ofCancer Registries (ENCR) and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), potentialproblems and possible solutions are here reviewed, with coverage of both organizational and financial constraints.An argument is presented here that there is a rationale for some form of an Asian Network of Cancer Registries,supported by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the UICC-Asian Regional Office, workingalongside the IACR and existing national organizations and research institutes.