Cancer Registries in Action

At a glance

Central cancer registries across the country share innovative ways they use data to help reduce cancer.

Registry spotlights

NPCR celebrates 30 years

The National Program of Cancer Registries celebrated 30 years of funding state and territorial cancer registries to collect cancer data, measure progress, drive action, prevent cancers, and improve treatment for all people in 2022. Our partner, the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA), featured posters showcasing program successes for all states and territories at their annual national conference. To celebrate NPCR's 30th anniversary, NCRA posted the success story posters for all states reporting in 2021.

Registries help CDC find out reasons for cervical cancer screening

CDC scientists wanted to find out why many women don't get the cervical cancer screening tests they need. So they worked with cancer registries in Michigan, New Jersey, and Louisiana to look at reasons for screening test use among cervical cancer survivors.

South Carolina uses registry data to screen more people for cancer

South Carolina has a high rate of cancer deaths, especially from breast and cervical cancer. Rates are also higher among black women. To help reduce these rates, state officials used cancer registry data to develop the Can Screen Initiative to reach more people at risk and make sure they get the treatment they need.

California cancer registry meets deadline for 100% electronic reporting

As of January 1, 2019, all pathologists in California were required to submit reports directly to the state in an electronic format. Before this policy change, electronic pathology reporting in California was voluntary and lacked standards or a centralized approach. The central registry's ability to perform surveillance and research in real time or near real time was limited by delays in data capture by registries.

Arkansas and North Carolina study COVID-19 in cancer patients and survivors

The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic made it hard for patients with cancer to get the care they needed. Doctors' offices and treatment centers were closed. Appointments for routine tests, including cancer screening tests, were postponed. As a result, many people did not get cancer screening tests in 2020.

Two state cancer registries were quick to recognize the need to collect high-quality information to understand how COVID-19 was affecting people with cancer. In Arkansas and North Carolina, registries matched data for people with cancer to data for people who tested positive for COVID-19. Their findings will help guide plans to address the needs of people with cancer.

Texas registry raises awareness about cancers linked to overweight and obesity

Weighing too much is the second largest cause of cancer after cigarette smoking. Overweight and obesity are linked to an estimated 40% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States each year. The Texas Cancer Registry published a report showing that the rate of 13 cancer types linked to overweight and obesity went up in Texas between 2005 and 2014. Texas used cancer data to raise awareness and show that being overweight is a relevant cancer risk factor to Texans.

Kentucky registry data spur research on cancer in children

Kentucky Cancer Registry data showed that the rate of common childhood cancers is higher in Kentucky than in the United States as a whole, and even higher among children in Kentucky's Appalachian region. In response to seeing these disparities, the state legislature established the Kentucky Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund in 2015 to investigate why children in Kentucky have high cancer rates.

Mississippi organization uses registry data to focus breast cancer screening outreach efforts

Jefferson County, in the southwest part of Mississippi, is the second poorest county in the nation. African American women in this county have higher rates of getting and dying from breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Disparity Roundtable used cancer registry data to help regions with high rates of breast cancer. Members of the Roundtable organized a screening event on the campus of Alcorn State University, a historically Black university, in Jefferson County before the homecoming game. They provided education on breast cancer screening and mammogram services available at the local health center.

Massachusetts registry helps reduce cervical cancer among older women

The Massachusetts Cancer Registry looked at cervical cancer data from 2004 through 2015 and found that nearly one-fourth of cases were diagnosed among women who were 65 or older. Guidelines recommend that women in this age group not be screened for cervical cancer if they have had regular, recommended screenings in the past. Central cancer registries partnered with state cancer control programs, academic institutions, and medical centers to ensure older women have received screening for cervical cancer to help address this treatable cancer.

Delaware registry tracks prostate cancer deaths among African American men

three African American men
Delaware Cancer Registry data suggest that prostate cancer educational programs are working.

In the past 10 years, cancer programs in Delaware have informed men, especially African American men, about the risk of getting prostate cancer. The Delaware Cancer Registry provides detailed information about new cases of, and deaths from, prostate cancer. Although the rate of getting prostate cancer is high in Delaware, the 5-year average death rate has dropped by nearly one-third in the past 10 years. Much of this decrease is because fewer African American men are dying from the disease.

Colorado registry finds a new way to help cancer patients get genetic services

The Colorado Central Cancer Registry developed a computer program to find out which patients meet guidelines for referral to genetic counseling. The goal is to help hospitals make sure that patients who need genetic services are referred to a genetic counselor. Family members of people with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome or Lynch syndrome may be at higher risk for cancer. They should talk to their doctor about genetic counseling to see if genetic testing could help them lower their risk of getting cancer. The registry sends three hospitals the names of their patients who may benefit from genetic services to encourage hospitals to offer genetic counseling.