Haematological malignancies (HM) represent over 6% of the total cancer incidence in Europe and affect all ages, ranging between 45% of all cancers in children and 7% in the elderly. Thirty per cent of childhood cancer deaths are due to HM, 8% in the elderly. Their registration presents specific challenges, mainly because HM may transform or progress in the course of the disease into other types of HM. In the context of cancer registration decisions have to be made about classifying subsequent notifications on the same patient as the same tumour (progression), a transformation or a new tumour registration. Allocation of incidence date and method of diagnosis must also be standardised. We developed European Network of Cancer Registries (ENCR) recommendations providing specific advice for cancer registries to use haematology and molecular laboratories as data sources, conserve the original date of incidence in case of change of diagnosis, make provision for recording both the original as well as transformed tumour and to apply precise rules for recording and counting multiple diagnoses. A reference table advising on codes which reflect a potential transformation or a new tumour is included. This work will help to improve comparability of data produced by population-based cancer registries, which are indispensable for aetiological research, health care planning and clinical research, an increasing important area with the application of targeted therapies.
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- School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences - Clinical Professor
- Centre for Public Health