Cancer registries fear collapse

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7288.730/a (Published 24 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:730
  1. Tim Helliwell (trh@liv.ac.uk), reader
  1. University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GA
  2. BUPA, London WC1A 2BA

    Need for patient consent for cancer registration creates logistical nightmare

    EDITOR—The guidance from the General Medical Council saying that patients' consent is required before cancers can be registered will lead to chaos.1

    The UK Association of Cancer Registries has achieved a remarkable record of cancer incidence and mortality that allows health planning for the future. The registries have found that the most reliable and consistent data on cancers are obtained at the time of diagnosis from histopathology departments.

    Diagnosis occurs at an unpredictable time and may often be a surprise to both patient and clinician. To obtain the consent of all patients for registration of the details of their cancer in this situation, and to feed back that information to the pathology department, is unlikely to be possible with a paper based system. The electronic patient record, with a prompt for clinicians and immediate connection to the pathology record, may provide one solution.

    Patients must be given clear details …

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