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Hamburg Cancer Registry Profile Page
Hamburg Cancer Registry

Contact Info

Billstraße 80
Dr. Stefan Hentschel


Registration area

The Hamburg Cancer Registry (HCR) covers the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, one of the 16 federal states of Germany. With 1.7 million residents in its predominantly urban area of 755 km2, Hamburg is the country’s second most populous city.

Cancer care facilities

Medical care is provided through a complex health care system involving about 3200 registered doctors and 51 hospitals, including a university hospital. Specialized cancer care is available to all residents, mainly at 10 hospital departments and 10 oncology practices, supplemented by numerous diagnostic, therapeutic, and supporting facilities. Nearly the entire population is covered by statutory or private health insurance.

Registry structure and methods

The HCR, established in the late 1920s, is run by the state health authority and staffed by four scientists, two computer experts, and six documentation and coding employees. Since 1985, the registry’s operation has been based on a law stipulating physicians’ right to report cancer cases on the condition of informed consent and data confidentiality. Since 2007, the registry’s plain-text records have been supplemented by pseudonymous pathology reports. Cases are transmitted electronically (since 2004) or using paper record sheets. Data processing includes routine automated checks for plausibility and duplicate reports.

Interpreting the results

The number of reports to the HCR (even from earlier years) is rising constantly, due to electronic data transmission and retroactive submissions. Although the registry’s overall completeness has been determined by the independent Robert Koch Institute to be sufficient, the HCR’s data quality varies considerably depending on the site and year of diagnosis. Early detection methods such as the Pap test, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, and mammography are widely used in Hamburg, but their precise prevalence and influence on incidence rates are difficult to determine.

Use of the data

Reports on cancer epidemiology in Hamburg are published regularly, and aggregate data are available from http://www.krebsregister.hamburg.de/ and http://www.gekid.de/. Major oncology institutions in Hamburg receive annual feedback about reporting activity and survival trends. Registry data are also provided for research.


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