Northern Territory Cancer Registry

Northern Territory Cancer Registry

What is the Cancer Registry?

The Northern Territory Cancer Registry (NTCR) was established in 1981 by the Northern Territory Department of Health and Families to collect information about cancer in the NT.

The Cancer (Registration) Act was passed in 1988 to provide a legislative basis for the Registry, including protecting the privacy of people with cancer. The Act was last updated in 2011.

The Act requires all pathology laboratories, hospitals and the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages to inform the Registry of all cases of cancer that have been diagnosed and of all people who die of cancer in the NT. Where information is incomplete, the Registry is authorised to obtain additional information from treating doctors.

Similar cancer registries exist in each Australian state and territory.

What information is collected?

Information collected by the Registry includes:

  • name and address
  • sex
  • date of birth
  • Indigenous status
  • country of birth
  • the body site and type of each cancer
  • the institution or doctor who supplied the information.
  • For cancer patients who have died, details of their cause and date of death are also collected

This information is collected so that accurate details are kept for each person and that each new cancer is only counted once. These details are kept strictly confidential.

What is the information used for?

The Registry publishes statistical reports which provide information on cancer incidence (the number of new cases), mortality (deaths), survival and disparities in the NT. These reports do not include any personal information.

More detailed statistics are available upon request and are used by government departments, health care institutions, Cancer Council Northern Territory, health care professionals and health researchers to:

  • plan cancer education, treatment and research programs, and
  • evaluate cancer prevention, screening, treatment and support services.

Information is also provided to the Australian Cancer Database so that cancer statistics for Australia can be produced.

Information about people with cancer, including identifying details, may be used for cancer research projects where there is a real chance that the research will be of benefit to the health of Territorians. Identifying information is only provided to researchers for research approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee and is subject to strict confidentiality conditions.

How do I request information from the Northern Territory Cancer Registry?

Anyone can request access to information collected by the NTCR - researchers, clinicians (public or private), hospital administrators, policy makers and the public.

All requests for information are subject to approval from one or both of:

  • NT Cancer Registrar
  • NT Chief Health Officer

The NTCR data release guidelines outline the process for requesting data.

Some of the data published by the NTCR are already available in spreadsheet format through the NT Government’s Open Data Portal.

Where can I get more information about cancer?

Your doctor will be able to inform you about cancer risks, effects and treatment.

The Cancer Council Northern Territory also provides information about cancer and offers support services for people with cancer and their families. Call Cancer Council Northern Territory on 1800 678 123 or 13 11 20.


Related information

Contact the Northern Territory Cancer Registry

NT Cancer Registry, Department of Health

Mail: PO Box 40596, Casuarina NT 0811
Phone: (08) 8985 8078

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Last updated: 17 July 2019

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