FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
April 7, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is celebrating the Connecticut Tumor Registry (CTR) in conjunction with National Cancer Registrars Week, which is recognized during the week of April 7-11, 2008. The 2008 theme “Cancer Registrars: More than Just Statistics” reflects the expansive role of cancer registrars and cancer registry data across the spectrum of cancer-related initiatives.
“Cancer is one of the top public health challenges of today,” stated DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. “The Connecticut Tumor Registry provides us with a tremendous resource to monitor cancer incidence and trends, identify priorities and target prevention and control activities in the state, educate the public and health professionals about specific cancer risks, trends and treatments, and aid research studies.”
“Cancer registrars are at the core of the nation’s anti-cancer efforts, so it is imperative that the information we provide is of the highest standard,” said Sally Kruse, CTR, National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) President. “We are data collection and management experts with the training, specialized skills, and eye for detail to provide the high quality data required in all avenues of cancer statistics and research.”
“As we focus on the contributions of cancer registrars, it is especially important that we also highlight the growing demand for trained and qualified cancer registrars as key components of all cancer control initiatives,” said Kruse. “We must work together with our allies in the health community to ensure that we continue to recruit and train qualified candidates to enter into the cancer registry field.”
The Connecticut Tumor Registry, a part of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, has been responsible for collecting data on cancers diagnosed in all Connecticut residents since 1941. CTR’s database contains statistical information on cancers diagnosed since 1935, making it the oldest and most widely used cancer registry in the country.
The majority of the CTR’s information is collected from hospitals and pathology laboratories in Connecticut, which are required by state regulation to report all cases of cancer to the CTR. The CTR also has agreements with other states to receive information on Connecticut residents who are diagnosed or treated in those states.
The CTR participates in a National Cancer Institute program which collects cancer data from selected cancer registries, providing a statistically valid sample for the entire United States. Trends in cancer incidence, mortality and patient survival are derived from this database. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to help prevent and control cancer.
“Quality cancer data is central to cancer prevention and treatment efforts,” stated Dr. Galvin. “Cancer registrars are the professionals responsible for the collection and management of accurate and timely cancer patient information as part of the war on cancer. They serve as the primary link between patients and researchers and health professionals who need access to quality cancer data in order to provide for a healthier tomorrow.”
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.