Cancer surveillance is universally defined as the ongoing, timely, and systematic collection and analysis of information on cancer. In order to help prevent cancer, cancer information must be disseminated to the public on a timely basis. Such data will enable both proper surveillance design and evaluation of prevention and control activities.
A key component of cancer surveillance is cancer registration, which includes the systematic collection of informaton on incidence, histology, morphology, behavior, topography, stage, type of treatment, mortality, and survival.
Cancer registration in Palestine started in 1996, in which the national registry underwent several rounds of development and refurbishment. However, development initiatives were considered with no critical or thorough assessment of the cancer registration or surveillance process.
As a result, PNIPH developed a national report with informaton on the ongoing cancer situation in both the West Bank and Gaza. Two assessment workshops with relevant stakeholders were conducted in the presence of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Several meetings were also conducted with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to agree on a clear roadmap for cancer registry improvements. PNIPH and the MoH revised, updated, and unified the Cancer Notification Form, and identified points of contact for cancer at each health facility.
Based on the assessment, requirements for improvement were identified, including:
• Appoint directors as accountable and visible project leaders
• Set a long-term plan for capacity building of cancer registrars
• Transition to active data collection and follow-up of data resources
• Ensure active involvement of stakeholders in an advisory board
• Develop quality-oriented standard operating procedures for the continuum of data flow