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Pennsylvania Cancer Registry  

The Pennsylvania Cancer Registry (PCR) is a statewide data system responsible for collecting information on all new cases of cancer diagnosed or treated in Pennsylvania. The PCR has had statewide data collection since 1985. The PCR is part of the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Through this program, the CDC provides funding for states, such as Pennsylvania, to enhance their existing registry to meet national standards for completeness, timeliness and data quality.


The PCR received Certification from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) and the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) for 2013 data, the most recent year for which certification results are available. This is the twelfth year the PCR has achieved certification which designates population-based cancer registries that demonstrate excellence in the areas of completeness, quality, and timeliness of cancer incidence data.


The basis for any successful cancer control program is a comprehensive registry system. Ongoing cancer data collection by the PCR ensures that reliable data are available to provide answers to questions, reduce the burden of cancer in Pennsylvania, and improve the lives of cancer survivors and their families. 
“ People do not naturally rally round a cause like cancer record-keeping because no one can point to victims who suffer without it. Rather, it is our larger understanding of cancer that suffers, And thus, we are all victims." -John H. Healey, M.D. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center 
“ The unique role of the central cancer registry is to be the eyes through which cancer control problems can be seen.” -Thomas C. Tucker, PhD, MPH Director, Kentucky Cancer Registry


Reporting to the PCR is mandated by the Pennsylvania Cancer Control, Prevention, and Research Act of 1980 and the Pennsylvania Department of Health's regulations concerning Reporting of Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases. Cancer data are reported by hospitals, clinics, laboratories, radiation facilities, cancer centers, surgical centers, doctor's offices, death certificates and through data exchange when Pennsylvania residents are diagnosed or treated in other states. The PCR receives over 100,000 reports of cancer cases annually. After accounting for duplicates, this translates into nearly 76,000 newly diagnosed cases every year. Information collected on each case includes patient demographics and medical information about the type of cancer, how far the cancer spread at the time of diagnosis, and the first course of treatment provided.