Research & Statistics
Research and Statistics
Nova Scotia Cancer Registry (NSCR)
A key component of the cancer surveillance effort is the operation of the Nova Scotia Cancer Registry (NSCR). The NSCR is operated by CCNS on behalf of the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. Nova Scotia has operated a cancer registry since 1964. Cancer is a reportable disease under the Nova Scotia Health Act, Revised Statutes 1989; Part VII Cancer.  This reporting requirement helps ensure that all cases of cancer are reported to the NSCR. In Canada, every province and territory now operates a population-based cancer registry.

Cancer registry operations meet standards outlined by both the Canadian Cancer Registry (CCR) and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR). In order to provide comparable data, the NSCR :
  • Uses standardized coding of cancer diagnoses (ICD-O)
  • Supports educational standards for coding staff
  • Follows CCR multiple primary and histology rules (e.g. how to count more than one cancer diagnosis in the same person)
Maintenance of data confidentiality is a guiding principle for the registry. All activities, from the initial registration of a new cancer case, through to research and reporting are governed by strict guidelines for data access and use. All data management processes are governed by the NS Personal Health Information Act, 2010.

Due to the time frames required to collect accurate and complete data it is usually 9 to 12 months into a new year before the previous year's data can be reported. The most recent available Nova Scotia data is for years up to and including 2012. A standard set of data is collected on every cancer case and includes:
  • Patient demographics (e.g. date of birth, sex, age at diagnosis)
  • Diagnosis details: (e.g. anatomical site, stage, diagnosis date)
  • Treatment details: (e.g. surgery dates and type, radiation dates and type)
  • Death information if applicable
The NSCR works collaboratively with Statistics Canada to ensure that Nova Scotia data is part of the national CCR. Each year CCNS submits to the annual Statistics Canada call for cancer data. This data submission includes core data elements from the data types listed above.

The North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) is an umbrella organization for cancer registries in North America. Their mission:

- To promote consistency of data standards
- To provide education and training for cancer registrars and other cancer registry staff
- To certify population based cancer registries.

Certification provides assurance that the data collected by the registries are complete and meet data standards to allow for comparability. During the submission years of 2009 to 2013, the NSCR has received 3 gold and 2 silver certifications.

View reports produced by NAACCR