Dear Mr Pienaar.
Thank you for your question. Mortality statistics for all cancer causes
in South Africa are really problematic to come by. South Africa is not very
good at keeping statistics for cancer deaths. You make specific mention of the
Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), as if you expect CANSA to be responsible
for keeping record of the number of cancer deaths. CANSA is a non-profit
organisation who has as its vision and mission: supporting cancer research,
educating the public about cancer and providing support for all those
individuals diagnosed with cancer as well as those affected by cancer.
There is only one body in South Africa that keeps record of the number
of cancer diagnoses, namely the National Cancer Registry (NCR), however, cancer
deaths are not included in the Registry. The latest statistics of cancer diagnoses for South
Africa obtainable from the National Cancer Registry are those for 2014. It must
be added that even those statistics are not complete as the only cases recorded
in that Registry are those for cancer cases confirmed by means of a laboratory
pathology report, which means that any other cancer diagnosis that is not
confirmed by a pathology report is not included. The NCR is a pathology-based
Registry. CANSA, has for a considerable period of time being advocating for a
Population-based Registry where all diagnoses will be reflected.
The mere fact that adequate cancer mortality statistics (as well as
cancer diagnoses) are not available, is a source of frustration for CANSA as,
without complete and full cancer statistics, it is very difficult to plan for
the future. (MCH).
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