Starting on January 1, all cancer cases in Switzerland must be registered.
This new practice is of fundamental importance, says the Swiss Cancer League, which has been pushing for the new law for over 20 years.
"The data will make it possible to better understand the cause of the cancers, as well as to plan screening measures in a more targeted way," Rolf Marti, head of the league's research, innovation and development sector, said in a media releaseexternal link. "This data will also give indications on the quality of care."
The federal law on the registration of oncological diseases requires doctors, laboratories, hospitals and health institutions to report any data relating to diagnosed cancers to cantonal registries or to the childhood cancer registry. The law obliges all cantons to finance and maintain these registers.
Patients need not worry about confidentiality. The law guarantees that their personal data will be protected.
Two categories of information will be provided. The basic data will relate to the type and stage of the disease or the first treatment. For breast, prostate and colon cancer, additional data will be entered.
Detailed information about the course of the disease and the treatment will be collected for children and adolescents.