NATIONAL CANCER REGISTER
People from different disciplines
participate in trying to control cancer. The major role of the cancer registry
in cancer control takes the nature of intelligence gathering about the current
cancer burden in a community, providing the data needed to uncover the
causes of cancer in humans and for evaluation of the effects of steps taken to
the control of the disease (Jensen O.M. et al., 1991).
To collect data, keep a register and
follow up all residents of the Maltese Islands who are diagnosed with cancer.
To provide a surveillance function by
using registry data to examine trends by age and gender, by cancer type, over
time and across the nation. This is performed by issuing regular reports and by
providing physicians and the general public with information they may need,
while respecting strict confidentiality.
To facilitate epidemiological research.
Much remains either unknown or poorly understood about the causes and the
potential for prevention. The registry responds to a number of requests from
people of differing interests, like students, clinicians and journalists. It
also contributes information to international publications and databases.
The first attempts at cancer registration
in Malta were started in the mid-1960s. In fact, cancer incidence data from
Malta for the time period 1969-1972 were included in the Cancer Incidence in
Five Continents, Volume III (IARC, 1976). However, these efforts were aborted in
The present registry was started in the 1985. Initially,
only data on cases diagnosed at St. Luke’s Hospital (the major acute general
public hospital in Malta) were collected. However, since 1991 the registry has
also been collecting data on cases diagnosed in all (public and private)
hospitals, clinics and laboratories on the Maltese Islands.
has now been a full voting member of the International Association of
Cancer Registries (IACR) since January 1995. Incidence and mortality
data for 1992-1993 has been included in Cancer Incidence in Five Continents,
Volume VII (IARC, 1997), while data on cases diagnosed between 1993-1997 was
published in Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Volume VIII (IARC, 2002).
Cancer survival of Maltese cancer patients diagnosed from 1993-1994 were
analyzed and compared with the survival of cases diagnosed and treated in other
European countries in the EUROCARE-3 study (Annals of Oncology, Volume 14,
Supplement 5, 2003). Information of cases diagnosed from 1995-1999 has recently
been submitted for inclusion in the EUROCARE-4 study.
The register is population-based and aims
at covering all cancer diagnoses performed on residents of the Maltese Islands.
These amount to about 1,200 new diagnoses per year excluding non-melanocytic
The population of Malta in the 2005 census was 404,962.
The total area of the Islands is 316 km2.
DATA COLLECTION AND SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Types of Neoplasms collected at
All malignant neoplasms
All ‘in-situ’ neoplasms (including all
levels of CIN)
Some neoplasms of uncertain or unknown
behaviour (eg: Myelodyplastic Syndrome)
Certain benign tumours (mainly those
arising in the CNS)
Main sources of information and
reports received at the Cancer Registry
||Hospital doctors, GP’s and others
||Notification of Cancer Act, 1957|
|Copy of histology and cytology report
||State-owned (1) and private (8)|
|Copy of autopsy report
||Autopsies are only done in state-owned general
||National Mortality Registry
||Another registry at DHI|
|New referrals to Oncology department
||There is only one Oncology centre on the
Data on cancer site and morphology is
coded using the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology,
Second edition (World Health Organization, 1990).
Unless otherwise stated all documents are in pdf
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Annual Cancer Report 1996 - 1997
Cancer in the
Maltese Islands 1998 - 2000 - Book
Gauci, D., Allemani, C., & Woods, L. "Population-level cure of colorectal cancer in Malta: An analysis of patients diagnosed between 1995 and 2004". Cancer Epidemiology 42(2016):32-38
Abstract availabe on the link below, full text available on request:
INFORMATION AND STATISTICS
The Malta National Cancer Registry
collects and processes personal information regarding cancers for statistical
and research purposes and in the interests of public health. All data is
collected and processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act (Malta,
2001). The Registry does not disclose identifiable data outside the Health
Division unless the law permits it. All individuals are entitled to know what
information, the Registry holds about them.