Learn more about Cancer Registries by clicking on the different steps below!

A cancer registry is an information system designed for the collection, storage, and management of data on persons with cancer.

Registries play a critical role in cancer surveillance, which tells us where we are in the efforts to reduce the cancer burden. Surveillance data may also serve as a foundation for cancer research and are used to plan and evaluate cancer prevention and control interventions.

For example, health officials, researchers, and others use cancer surveillance data to answer questions like, “Are more or fewer people getting colorectal cancer this year compared to last year?” or “Which groups of people are most likely to get skin cancer?”

The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program is the main program that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) uses to support cancer surveillance activities. It is an authoritative source of information on cancer incidence and survival in the United States. The SEER Program currently collects and publishes cancer incidence and survival data from population-based cancer registries covering approximately 28 percent of the U.S. population. The SEER Program is part of the NCI’s Surveillance Research Program, which provides national leadership in the science of cancer surveillance as well as analytical tools and methodological expertise in collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and disseminating reliable population-based statistics. The SEER program also supports multiple types of research related to cancer by: helping connect patients with clinical trials that evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments, supporting studies that work with patients to answer specific questions about their cancer care and outcomes, and supporting other types of epidemiologic studies.

Next Section: Cancer Registry