Evolution Of Cancer Registration In Sri Lanka

Eshani FERNANDO, National Cancer Control Programme, Sri Lanka

1 National Cancer Control Programme, Sri Lanka


Background: The first publication of cancer registry data was in 1990 publishing data of 1985.Since then publications were done for years, 1986,1987, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2001-2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 named ‘cancer incidence data’  of Sri Lanka. The objective of the present research was to find out the evolution of cancer registration in Sri Lanka.
Methods: A desk review of all the publications of cancer incidence data from 1985 to 2009 and in-depth interviews of cancer registry staff.
Results: From 1985 to 2005, cancer incidence data were collected only from the Cancer Treatment Centres (CTC). Data from maxillo-facial units were included from 2006.   Data from pathology labs (16) were incorporated from 2008 and publication, presented data collected from 40 sources. Cancer cases with behaviour codes 1, 2 and 3 were included in the registry but from 2006, only behaviour code 3 (malignant primary site) cases were included.  Population-based cancer registry was initiated in 2012 in Colombo district, collecting data from death registrars and medical record officers of all hospitals. CanReg 4 software introduced in 2008 was replaced with CanReg 5 in 2012 for data entry. It has evolved from an active paper–based data collection system to a computer-based system in 2015 and plans are under way to make a web-based real-time data collection system.
Discussion and conclusion: ‘Cancer incidence’ term had been used in all publications with the assumption that all cancer patients come into contact with a CTC at least once as chemo radiation facilities were available only there and the denominator used for the calculation was the total population of Sri Lanka. Increasing the coverage of the registry has been achieved by collecting data from CTCs, pathology laboratories, medical registrars of hospitals and death registrars with the aim of establishing a true national population based cancer registry.