Thanks to the registered data, the public, physicians and politicians learn more about the spread and development of tumours, such as which conditions occur at what frequency, how dangerous they are, how they develop over time and how they are treated. This helps to improve health care and to decide on the right preventive measures.
Cancer registries have proven useful in the past, such as when a large number of tumours occurred in a certain area or in a short period of time. In such cases, the cancer registries help us recognise this and to uncover the cause of the greater frequencies, as well as health connections. Without cancer registries, abnormalities might go unnoticed. Past examples where cancer registry data has been useful include monitoring thyroid changes after the Chernobyl disaster or describing the link between asbestos and pleural cancer. Cancer registration also makes it possible to evaluate the quality of breast and colon cancer screening programmes in many Swiss cantons and to answer numerous other questions about cancer.
Data from cancer registries is also forwarded to research in compliance with strict regulations. Researchers make their own assessments to investigate important questions about tumours. Cancer registries also carry out research projects, alone or together with other organisations, in order to gain further insights into the diseases. A prerequisite for the use of data is always complete anonymisation. Further information on data processing and data use within the framework of the Cancer Registration Act can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).