The New Hampshire State Cancer Registry (NHSCR) is a statewide, population-based cancer surveillance program that collects incidence data on all cancer cases diagnosed or treated in the State of New Hampshire. Since its inception in 1985, the NHSCR has contracted with the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth by the DHHS Division of Public Health Services and the Health Statistics and Data Management Section.
In mid-1984, mortality statistics for the State of New Hampshire as provided by the National Cancer Institute showed that our population had experienced about 100 more cancer deaths than the national average each year during the period 1950-1979. This information led to the formation of a Coalition Against Cancer, established with the help of the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services and the American Cancer Society, N.H. Division, Inc. Through the efforts of the Coalition and the passage of the Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Act, cancer was established as a reportable disease in New Hampshire. A contract between the Division of Public Health Services and Dartmouth College to establish and operate a statewide cancer registry was then approved by the Governor and Council.
- to maintain an incidence reporting system for the estimation of cancer rates in NH
- to provide information to help public health officials and agencies in the planning and evaluation of cancer prevention and control programs, and in cancer cluster investigations
- to be an informational resource for investigation of cancer and its causes
The NHSCR collects incidence data on all cancer cases diagnosed or treated in New Hampshire. As required by the NH Administrative Rules, the NHSCR currently collects data from hospital registrars in the larger hospitals in NH. Hospitals with fewer than 105 cases per year who generally do not have their own cancer registry are assisted by the NHSCR staff, helping these hospitals with some of their reporting duties. The NHSCR also receives case report from physician practices, free standing radiation oncology centers, pathology laboratories and other sources. In addition, the NHSCR receives case reports for NH residents who are diagnosed outside the state, based on interstate data exchange agreements.
The NHSCR has an innovative, two-phase reporting system. The initial rapid report provides basic aspects of case identification and is submitted within 45 days of diagnosis. A definitive case report is transmitted within 180 days from the date of diagnosis, and includes more detailed information, such as treatment and staging information. Timely reporting is essential for registry activities.