Certified Registries

Certified Registries


In order to track trends in the occurrence of cancer in North America, every newly diagnosed cancer case is reported to a population-based state, provincial or territorial cancer registry where statistics are compiled in a standard format. This enables us to make comparisons across geographical areas and over time. In 1997, NAACCR instituted a program that annually reviews member registries for their ability to produce complete, accurate, and timely data. NAACCR annually reviews data from member registries to assure the quality, accuracy, and completeness of cancer incidence data based on pre-determined objective and independent registry certification criteria. Registry staff receive a report containing the results of registry certification evaluation for the most recent data year.

In 2019, cancer incidence data for cases diagnosed in 2016 for 69 of the 71 population-based cancer registries in North America were evaluated as part of the certification program. Ten Canadian (8 Provinces and 2 territories) and 55 U.S. registries (49 states, Puerto Rico, and 4 metropolitan and 1 regional registry) were certified by NAACCR. The percentage of the North American population that is covered by high quality certified registries for 2019 is approximately 95%.

Achieving NAACCR certification is a considerable accomplishment and represents months of diligent effort to ensure the quality and reliability of North American cancer data. Data collected by member registries form the backbone of the cancer surveillance system supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute and public health agencies in Canada. The cancer data form the basis of North American cancer statistics and estimates, and are integral to countless cancer research studies.

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