HomeEpidemiological Cancer Registry North Rhine-Westphalia
Epidemiological Cancer Registry North Rhine-Westphalia Profile Page
Epidemiological Cancer Registry North Rhine-Westphalia

Contact Info

Epidemiologisches Krebsregister NRW gGmbH
Robert-Koch-Str. 40
Dr. Oliver Heidinger


Registration area

The North Rhine-Westphalia Epidemiological Cancer Registry was established in 2005 as a statewide register for the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), which is located in north-western Germany, bordering the Netherlands and Belgium. The registry data reported in this volume are restricted to a single district of the state, the Regierungsbezirk (administrative district) of Münster, where a population-based register has been maintained since 1985. In 2007, the population of Münster was 2.6 million (48.8% male and 51.2% female) and the population density was 378 residents/km2. The majority of residents are Roman Catholic.

Cancer care facilities

Cancer treatment is provided predominantly by hospitals. The registration area has 63 hospitals with more than 20 000 beds. Microscopic examination and diagnosis is performed by 14 pathology laboratories.

Registry structure and methods

The Münster registry was established in 1985 within the framework of the NRW Law of Cancer Registration. At that time, cancer notification was voluntary and required patients’ signed consent. The sources of notifications for the registry were hospitals, outpatient facilities, and private practitioners. In 1998, the registry began to receive pseudonymous reports from pathologists. The registry database was linked annually with death certificates from the district, and trace-back was performed for cases first registered by death certificate. In July 2005, new legislation came into force that expanded the registration area to the entire federal state of NRW (18 million residents). Pseudonymous notification of new cancer cases is now mandatory for all physicians, and all pathologists are required to report any histopathological findings of malignant disease.

Interpreting the results

Since the registry began receiving reports from pathologists in 1998, its completeness has been estimated to be more than 90% for cancer cases at all sites except C44 (other skin).

Use of the data

The registry publishes reports on cancer incidence and mortality. Registry data can also be accessed through an interactive database on the registry’s website. The registry contributes to the evaluation of the NRW mammography screening programme (part of the national programme), and registry data are increasingly used in the context of health service research.


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