• Article

The role of hospital-based cancer registries in low and middle income countries—The Nigerian Case Study

The incidence of cancer continues to rise all over the world and current projections show that there will be 1.27 million new cases and almost 1 million deaths by 2030. In view of the rising incidence of cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, urgent steps are needed to guide appropriate policy, health sector investment and resource allocation. We posit that hospital based cancer registries (HBCR) are fundamental sources of information on the frequent cancer sites in limited resource regions where population level data is often unavailable. In regions where population based cancer registries are not in existence, HBCR are beneficial for policy and planning.

Nineteen of twenty-one cancer registries in Nigeria met the definition of HBCR, and from these registries, we requested data on cancer cases recorded from January 2009 to December 2010. 16 of the 19 registries (84%) responded. Data on year hospital was established; year cancer registry was established, no. of pathologists and types of oncology services available in each tertiary health facility were shown. Analysis of relative frequency of cancers in each HBCR, the basis of diagnosis recorded in the HBCR and the total number of cases recorded by gender was carried out.

The total number of cancers registered in these 11 hospital based cancer registries in 2009 and 2010 was 6484. The number of new cancer cases recorded annually in these hospital based cancer registries on average was 117 cases in males and I77 cases in females. Breast and cervical cancer were the most common cancers seen in women while prostate cancer was the commonest among men seen in these tertiary hospitals.

Information provided by HBCR is beneficial and can be utilized for the improvement of cancer care delivery systems in low and middle income countries where there are no population based cancer registries.


Jedy-Agba, E. E., Curado, M-P., Oga, E., Samaila, M. O., Ezeome, E. R., Obiorah, C., ... Mayun, A. (2012). The role of hospital-based cancer registries in low and middle income countries—The Nigerian Case Study. Cancer Epidemiology, 36(5), 430-435.