Cancer became a reportable disease with the enactment of Health and Safety Code, Section 103885 in 1985. The California Cancer Registry (CCR) has gathered information on all cancers diagnosed in California since 1988. (The only exceptions are basal and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin and carcinoma in situ of the cervix.)
The CCR is a three-level system:
- Medical treatment facilities collect and report cancer data from their medical records.
- Physicians report information on cancer patients who are not referred to a medical treatment facility.
- A network of ten reporting regions receives these data and checks for accuracy, performs analyses, and conducts studies specific to the local area. The central registry in Sacramento collates these data, performs additional quality control and analyzes the data on a statewide basis.
All information collected by the CCR are considered confidential based on section 103850 of the Health and Safety code. Persons with a valid scientific interest who are engaged in demographic, epidemiological or other similar studies related to health who meet qualifications as determined by the California Department of Public Health, and who agree, in writing, to maintain confidentiality, may be authorized access to confidential information. For more detail about the law see:
- Law establishing the California Cancer Registry: California Health and Safety Code, sections 103875-103885.
- Law concerning confidentiality of information collected by the California Cancer Registry: California Health and Safety Code, section 100330:
- California Information Practices Act: CA Civil Code Section 1798.24 and CA Welfare and Institutions Code Section 10850