What is the Manitoba Cancer Registry?

Quality cancer data are central in the fight against cancer and cancer registrars are the first line in capturing data on all patients diagnosed with cancer in Manitoba. Cancer registrars are specially trained certified health information professionals who collect, classify and maintain this important information. The Manitoba Cancer Registry is an essential tool for evidence-based, data-driven decision-making that has an immense impact on cancer research, practice and services.

As data management experts working in cancer treatment and research settings, our dedicated cancer registrars abstract cancer-related data from various sources and encode relevant details utilizing the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) and the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology (ICD-0) on persons with cancer. This vital information is used in research, treatment, health care planning and delivery and prevention initiatives. Physicians, researchers, health care administrators and standard setters rely on accurate cancer data every day - a commitment our cancer registrars fulfill.

A population-based central cancer registry since 1956, it has been recording cancer information since the 1930s. This information now provides an unbiased picture of the state of cancer across the province over the last 80 years and represents one of the most comprehensive registries in the world.

The Cancer Registry implemented the collaborative stage data collection system for all cases of cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin) diagnosed January 1, 2004 and forward. A "best stage" in AJCC format (TNM) is derived using the elements captured in the collaborative stage process. The availability of stage assists with the assessment of patterns of cancer and cancer treatment and ultimately planning of programs in prevention, early detection, treatment and supportive care.

Manitoba was the first province capturing stage data on all cancer sites. Most partners are still developing this capability. This initiative has required many hours of hard work and specialized training, but these efforts have made Manitoba the leader in collaborative staging.

Due to extensive staff training and dedication, the Registry is recognized as a leader amongst North American cancer registries. Our staff have been sought out by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada, and Canadian Council of Cancer Registries to provide education and training nationally, as well as serving on a number of national committees.

What information is collected and what is it used for?
Much of what we know about cancer today comes from cancer registry data.

CancerCare Manitoba is legally mandated under the Public Health Act to collect, classify and maintain accurate comprehensive information on all cancer cases for the province of Manitoba.

Based on an international classification system, registrars record details on the type of cancer, place of diagnosis, date of diagnosis, method of diagnosis and other steps along the patient's journey, including treatment information, such as if surgery, chemotherapy or radiation took place.

The collected information is used to:

How is personal information protected?
The Registry respects and protects a patient's right to privacy. Confidential health information is handled under the guidelines of the Personal Health Information Act of Manitoba.

The Registry's records are directly augmented by treatment data from Manitoba Health and pathology reports received from the pathology labs throughout Manitoba. Information is also provided by clinics and hospitals.