The Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) is a population-based registry covering Northern Ireland. It collects comprehensive information on all new cases of cancer and cancer deaths occurring in a defined population, however the information collected focuses more on medical aspects and limited information about cancer patients other than basic demographics is collected. While the patient’s sex, age and area of residence provide valuable information there is an increasing demand to know more about the social characteristics of cancer patients.
Efforts to improve collection of information such as ethnicity have recently started but will take time to implement. However, The NI longitudinal study, which links a large sample of information from the GRO, Census and other data sources, provides significant information on the NI population that could be used to plug the knowledge gap.
Legal aspects prevent the matching of cancer incidence data to the NILS dataset however the characteristics of persons who have died from cancer are already examinable and a detailed breakdown of persons dying from cancer in Northern Ireland is possible.
This research project aims to use NILS to produce a report on cancer mortality in Northern Ireland focusing upon patient characteristics which will be publicly available for use by health professionals, policy makers and the general public. In addition, two detailed research projects will be conducted: One on ethnicity and migration and one to perform a multivariate logistic analysis to isolate social factors contributing to cancer mortality.
Donnelly, D. and Gavin, A. (2009) A Review of Cancer Mortality in Northern Ireland. Registrar General Annual Report 2008, NISRA.