May 12, 2015
A paper published in the European Journal of Cancer provides an overview of the advantages and challenges of Europe-wide coverage for childhood cancer registration compared to regional registration. The authors state that since childhood cancer, although rare, contributes considerably to mortality as well as loss of years and poor quality of life in survivors, cancer registries are an essential tool for surveillance and provide the basis for research and policy decisions. The authors identified over 200 cancer registries in various stages of development across Europe. They found that these registries covered 83% of the childhood population in the European Union, but could increase to around 98%, if the recently established cancer registries improved in quality. The authors recommend national registration of cancer over regional registration as they believe it is more cost-effective, can cover larger populations, contain data that are less biased and ready for national and international research.