Need for a national cancer registry in Pakistan: Challenges and way forward

Saleema Begum, Muhammad Rizwan Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The incidence of cancer is rising globally at a remarkable rate. According to the global cancer Observatory, the total number of cases in Pakistan were 178,388 in 2020; and these figures were provided by the Punjab Cancer Registry which represents the population of Lahore and some parts of central Punjab. Considering the overall 220 million population, these figures are severe underestimation of the true cancer burden in Pakistan. Unfortunately, several attempts at establishing a national cancer registry in the country have failed in the past. Resource limitations, including funds, manpower and infrastructure, and the lack of interest on the part of the governments are behind the failure of the establishment of a national cancer database. There is a dire need for establishing a national cancer registry to understand the actual burden of disease, and to implement a national action plan for cancer prevention, and management strategies to control the growing epidemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1475-1479
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Cancer
  • Prevention
  • Registry


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