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PURPOSE: In a review of cancer incidence across continents (GLOBOCAN 2012), data sources from Ghana were classified as Frequencies, the lowest classification for inclusion, signifying the worst data quality for inclusion in the analysis. Recognizing this deficiency, the establishment of a population-based cancer registry was proposed as part of a broader cancer control plan. METHODS: The registry was examined under the following headings: policy, data source, and administrative structure; external support and training; and definition of geographic coverage. RESULTS: The registry was set up based on the Ghana policy document on the strategy for cancer control. The paradigm shift ensured subscription to one data collection software (CanReg 5) in the country. The current approach consists of trained registrars based in the registry who conduct active data abstraction at the departments and units of the hospital and pathologic services. To ensure good governance, an administrative structure was created, including an advisory board, a technical committee, and registry staff. External support for the establishment of the Accra Cancer Registry has come mainly from Stanford University and the African Cancer Registry Network, in collaboration with the University of Ghana. Unlike previous attempts, this registry has a well-defined population made up of nine municipal districts. CONCLUSION: The Accra Cancer Registry was established as a result of the lessons learned from failed previous attempts and aim to provide a model for setting up other cancer registries in Ghana. It will eventually be the focal point where all the national data can be collated.

Original publication




Journal article


JCO Glob Oncol

Publication Date





610 - 616