The National Cancer Registry (NCR) is the national authority, where the data on all the incidences of cancer occurring in Switzerland are collated. It monitors the quality of the data and reports this back to the Cancer Registries. The National Cancer Registry and the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry are the bodies responsible for national health reporting on cancer incidence. Like the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry, the National Cancer Registry transfers the data needed by the National Cancer Statistic to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO). By order of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) the National Institute for Cancer Epidemiology and Registration (NICER) is mandated with undertaking the responsibilities of the National Cancer Registry (NCR).
The cantonal Cancer Registries collect data on the incidence of cancers and their treatment in adults (from 20 years of age), who reside in the canton of the respective Cancer Registry. Once annually, the cantonal Cancer Registries transfer to the National Cancer Registry the incidence of cancers registered in Switzerland.
Statutory cancer registration
The statutory regulation of cancer incidence registration as from January 2020 has standardised the collection of data on cancer incidence. This improves the data quality for cancer incidence in Switzerland. The collection of reliable, diagnostically conclusive data is essential, in order to observe the development of the incidence of cancer over the years. The objective is to have a better understanding of cancers and to be better able to treat the conditions. The information collected can, for example, be used to investigate whether cancer incidence in Switzerland is increasing or reducing over time, or whether there are regional clusters. The knowledge gained contributes to the development of screening and prevention programmes, to guaranteeing optimum medical care and ought also to support research. By medical care, we mean medical services, which safeguard a person's health, for example, by providing optimum treatment. Follow-up care means that the patient continues to be under the care of a doctor, even after the treatment of cancer, for example, through what are known as follow-up examinations.
What data is registered?
Standardised basic data are registered on every incidence of cancer. These include the type and stage of cancer, information on initial treatment and on any appearance of recurrence or metastases. This makes possible the nationwide, complete, exhaustive collection of all incidences of cancer as well as facilitating observation of the progression of the disease.
Breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer together constitute more than half of all the incidences of cancer in Switzerland. For this reason, on these three types of cancer, additional data on genetic predisposition, as well as on pre-existing and concomitant diseases, are collected. In addition to the basic data for all incidences of cancer in children and adolescents other information is also collected, for example on genetic predisposition, on pre-existing and concomitant diseases, as well as detailed information on the overall progression of the disease, its treatment and follow-up treatment.
How to Request Data
In accordance with Art. 16 paras. 2 and 3 LRG, unpublished results and fundamentals can be made available to third parties in anonymized form upon request.
Please contact us at requests[at]nicer.org
The national cancer data dictionary according to the new law on cancer registration has been updated and is available in four languages: German, French, Italian, English. Complete with updated full-length code-lists.
Data processing and data use
The following links provide the document "Concept for the evaluation and publication of cancer data" and supplementary information in the form of questions and answers (FAQ), which are intended to serve as a guide for the assessment of individual application questions.
The evaluation in particular cases is the responsibility of the cancer registries, the National Agency for Cancer Registration or researchers as data processing agencies.
These documents are only available in German, French or Italian.
A list of previously approved and declined applications can be seen here: