Of Populations & Priorities

 We have already asked this urgent question: Shouldn’t South Africa be focusing on the development of a Population-Based Cancer Registry (PBCR)?

IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) is a WHO agency which describes the importance of a PBCR and its role as:

  • Describing the extent and nature of the cancer burden in the community and assist with the establishment of public health priorities.
  • Used as a source of material for etiological studies
  • Help with the monitoring of cancer and assigning the effectiveness of cancer control activities.

The National Cancer Institute‘s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program explains how a Population-Based Cancer Registry is different and wider-reaching than a Hospital-Based Cancer Registry.

“In comparison to the hospital-based cancer registry, the data collected by the population-based registry serves a wider range of purposes. Advantages of a population-based cancer registry include cancer control programs, patient care programs, administrative programs, and cancer research programs.” { Read more here.}


All the above falls into the ambit of an effective National Cancer Control Plan for South Africa – STILL outstanding since 1998!

 When will South Africa recognise that Cancer is a PRIORITY disease and that it simply cannot just be lumped with Non-Communicable Diseases?

If we do not have accurate statistics, how can we plan appropriately to prevent the untimely death of our mothers and sisters?

What do YOU think?

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