CancerCare Manitoba
Epidemiology & Cancer Registry

The professional staff of the Department of Epidemiology & Cancer Registry provide consultation and services in the areas of statistics analysis and cancer epidemiology and collaborate with local, national and international partners in cancer research.

The Department's main functions include:
  • maintaining and continually improving the Manitoba Cancer Registry
  • providing consultation on statistical analysis and cancer epidemiology to CancerCare Manitoba, Manitoba Health, the University of Manitoba, provincial, national and international agencies and to the private sector
  • providing knowledge, data collection support, and analytical expertise to Manitoba Health, the Regional Health Authorities, and chronic disease stakeholders on cancer (and chronic diseases) risk factors
  • undertaking surveillance, analytical, and evaluative epidemiological research (including analyzing and interpreting data on cancer incidence, mortality and outcomes, and research into the causes and prevention of cancer)
  • collaborating with health service providers and other researchers in screening and treatment outcome evaluations, and other health services research
  • participating in the education and training of graduate students and residents

The Department is also engaged in developing an active analytic epidemiology research program.

Although all other provinces in Canada have cancer registries, Manitoba's is unique because of collaborative work between Manitoba Health and CancerCare Manitoba's Department of Epidemiology & Cancer Registry, in which information on cancer patients may be obtained from a variety of administrative databases maintained at Manitoba Health. This enables extensive population-based research, including:
  • estimates of cancer incidence, prevalence, mortality, and survival
  • projections of cancer incidence, prevalence and mortality
  • use of hospital discharge data and physician fee-for-service claims for investigating service utilization, treatment outcomes, and risk factors
  • use of other disease registries (e.g., diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease) to assess similarities of disease patterns and potential causality
  • analysis of lifestyle characteristics (diet, exercise) and knowledge, attitudes and behaviours derived from surveys

Researchers interested in these types of projects should contact the Department at and note that various research approvals will be required.

A population-based central cancer registry, the Manitoba Cancer Registry uses multiple sources of ascertainment to ensure high levels of case ascertainment. These include physician notifications, pathology and cytology reports, and hospitalization, mortality and autopsy records.

Since 2004, cancer registrars have been involved in collaborative staging, which further enhances data collection. Manitoba was the first province to capture stage data on all cancer sites.