Establishing and maintaining population-based cancer registries in developing countries is challenging. The quality and richness of the GPBCR database of 1999-2007 that contained 33,652 confirmed cancer cases was recognized by its publication in the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)’s Cancer Incidence in 5 Continents monographs of 2008 and 2014, as one of only 8 registries with outstanding quality from Africa.
The successes of the GPBCR were achieved through creative ideas for overcoming challenges during the inception and maintenance of the registration process. At the inception, adapting the IARC registration software and obtaining reliable census, mortality, and geographic information were among the critical tasks.
During the registration process, birthdates, national identification numbers, new sources of data, priorities for data collection and registration, revising data forms for new variables, linkage between the census and mortality records, manuals and guidelines, multiple cancer primaries, personnel substitution, registration of non-residents, CanReg 4 limitations, phone checks, and duplicate name prevention were among the challenges. While the GPBCR is continuing its expansion in quality registration and developing programs in education and research, the registry continues to serve as resource for improving cancer registration in the region and globally. The GPBCR is capable of helping groups in establishing cancer registries through assistance in developing appropriate registration forms, advising on field logistics, training of registry personnel, trouble-shooting of technical data problems, using incomplete and inconsistent data, and setting-up databases for cancer research.
Funding Sources: This work has been funded by the Office of International Affairs of the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA; the Middle East Cancer Consortium and The Ministry of Health & Population Egypt.