National Program of Cancer Registries
State-based cancer registries are data systems that collect, manage, and analyze data about cancer cases and cancer deaths. In each state, medical facilities report these data to a central cancer registry. The National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) provides financial and technical support to these state cancer registries and collects data on the occurrence of cancer; the type, extent, and location of the cancer, and the type of initial treatment. Central cancer registries in 45 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Pacific Island Jurisdictions participate in NPCR, covering 96 %of the U.S. population. Together, NPCR and the NIH Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) collect data for the entire U.S. population.
Medical facilities such as hospitals, doctor's offices, and pathology laboratories send information about cancer cases to their cancer registry. Most information comes from hospitals where highly trained employees called cancer registrars transfer the information from the patient's medical record to the registry's computer software using standardized codes. The data are then sent to the central (state) cancer registry. States and territories participating in NPCR submit incidence data. NPCR and SEER together compile national cancer statistics from data submitted to these central registries.