Guam Cancer Registry

Guam Cancer Registry

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The Guam Cancer Registry (GCR) is a population-based registry that is tasked with recording all cancer cases occurring among residents of Guam since 1998. The purpose of the GCR is to aid in reducing the burden of cancer in Guam by providing basic island-wide, population-based cancer incidence and mortality data for the facilitation of cancer research and the evaluation of cancer control programs.

The GCR had a very humble beginning in 1998 as just one of many collateral duties of the Territorial Epidemiologist Dr. Robert Haddock. At that time the main sources of data were death certificates on file at the Office of Vital Statistics, Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS), and documents from the Guam Office of the American Cancer Society.

Cancer registry is defined as an organized system for the collection, storage, analysis, and interpretation of data on persons with cancer. Cancer data are used to: 1) monitor cancer trends over time; 2) show cancer patterns in various populations; 3) guide planning and evaluation of  cancer control programs; 4) help set priorities for allocating health resources; and 5) advance clinical, epidemiologic, and health services research.

In 2004 the GCR became a unit of the Cancer Research Center of Guam (CRCG) which was established as a joint venture of the University of Guam, the Guam DPHSS, and the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. With funding provided by the National Institutes of Health, the GCR was able to hire a full-time data collection specialist. This greatly improved the ability of the GCR to collect more accurate and complete information regarding Guam cancer cases. In recognition of its progress, in 2006, the GCR was awarded full-member status in the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR).

Renata Bordallo and Emilio Medina
GCR Staff, Renata Bordallo and Emilio Medina working at House #7 Conference Room

Through mentoring by the Hawaii Tumor Registry, the GCR continues to seek improvement of the accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of its cancer data in order to meet the exacting standards set by NAACCR and the National Cancer Institute/Surveillance & Epidemiological End Results (NCI/SEER) research programs. Achievement of these objectives is important because the GCR is a resource cornerstone for health planners and the ongoing effort of the University of Guam to develop excellence in the fields of health education and research.

Public Law 30-80, enacted in October 2010, increased tobacco taxes and established a dedicated source of local funding for GCR by giving it 1% of tobacco taxes collected annually. It also expanded mandatory cancer reporting to include non-medical entities e.g. insurance companies.

GCR continues to seek improved data collection and data analysis in support of local-regional cancer research such as the U54 cancer research partnership grant. The GCR is actively involved in the work of the community-based Guam Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition (GCCCC) and participates in community-oriented cancer education activities such as annual medical conferences, health forums, and the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) consortium.

GCR has policies and procedures in place to share its data with policy-makers, interested parties, and researchers. Download a pdf of Guam Cancer Facts & Figures 2008-2012.

For a copy of GCR Reporting Policy and Procedure Manuals, please contact GCR at 735-2988/89.