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National Cancer Registrars Week

A week set aside to recognize a dedicated group of professionals.

April 6, 2001 -- This week is set aside to recognize a dedicated group of health professionals for the contributions they make to cancer research, registration, surveillance, and control. In 1971, President Nixon declared "War on Cancer" that led to the United States National Cancer Act. Much of what is known today about cancer is from the data that cancer registrars collect. Local, state, and national cancer agencies use the data that cancer registrars collect, analyze, and disseminate to draw conclusions about the burden of cancer in defined areas and to make important public health decisions that effectively maximize limited public health funds.

A cancer registry is a data system designed for the collection, management, and analysis of data on persons with the diagnosis of a malignant or neoplastic disease (cancer). Cancer registrars are the trained professionals who manage these data systems or registries. There are hospital-based registries, central (state or population-based) registries, and special purpose registries.

We have had a special based cancer registry at the Evansville Cancer Center for the past seven years. Cancer registrars are considered an important part of the healthcare team. "From the statistical information that our Cancer Registrar, Vi Defourneaux, collects and compiles, our medical staff is able to actually measure our patient outcomes against national treatment outcomes and determine success rates," states Al Korba, Medical Director. "We use the information from our cancer registry for program planning in both our local and regional offices," adds Dr. Korba.

All states in the United States have a population-based cancer registry as a result of Public Law 102-515 (signed into law in 1992) which directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish the National Program of Cancer Registries. Cancer Registries define the burden and characteristics of cancer, and form the foundation for cancer control programs, research, epidemiological analyses, cancer risk factor identification surveys, and educational forums. Cancer registries are valuable tools for research.

The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) was founded in 1974. There are over 3,000 members of the NCRA and they are all celebrating NCRWeek on April 9-13, 2001. This week is a time to recognize Cancer Registrars for their many contributions. There is much to celebrate and yet there is still so much to do.

For further information about cancer registries, please contact:

Al Korba, MD, Radiation Oncologist, Medical Director, Evansville Cancer Center
Julia Georgesen, MSN, Clinical Director of Operations, Evansville Cancer Center
Vi Defourneaux, Cancer Registry, Evansville Cancer Center

They may be reached at (812) 474-1110. We can supply you with a photograph of the above individuals if requested.

Additional source:
National Cancer Registrars Association, National Office, P.O. Box 15945-295, Lenexa, KS 66285-5945; Phone (913) 438-6272; Fax: (913) 541-0156;

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