Cancer registry project in Armenia
July 4, 2022
Cancer registries in Armenia

The National Center of Oncology (NCO), the only comprehensive cancer hospital in Armenia, is implementing a project to modernise the national cancer registry system from paper-based to paperless. The project started in October 2020, amid the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Armenia and the global COVID-19 pandemic, by establishing a connection between NCO and IKNL (Netherlands comprehensive cancer organisation) mediated by Inspire2Live.

A multidisciplinary group from IKNL guided the NCO team through biweekly/monthly online meetings on the technical back-end development of the electronic registry. In addition, online meetings with IARC representatives were arranged by Inspire2Live to discuss current activities and agree on further developments. The technical work gradually progressed and a funding opportunity of USD150,000 was matched in spring 2021 to intensify the project implementation, however the project was not funded. Despite this, the project continued and progressed with no additional funding, using existing resources of NCO and technical guidance from IKNL.

The cancer registry uses a citizen’s social security number as a unique identifier by retrieving data from the population registry to which it is connected. The international classification systems are embedded in the cancer registry (ICD-10, ICD-O, TNM). Currently the cancer registry is technically built/constructed and embedded in the national E-health system (ArMed, which was used for COVIDovid-19 data and worked well). The cancer registry was tested in February 2022.

On March 3, 2022, the Ministry of Health instructed all medical institutions in the country to start entering data, with immediate effect, for all cancer cases they deal with, both de novo cases and those under dispensary control. This instruction is based on the current legislation on registries and the data entry task shall be completed by December 31, 2022 (March 13-May 31: cancer data from the last 5 years; June 1-August 31: cancer data from the last 15 years; September 1-December 31: cancer data older than 15 years). Laboratories are also connected to ArMed and will soon do their data entry for all lab tests relating to cancer.

It is planned that the annual statistical reports on cancer for 2022 will be based on the data accumulated in ArMed by December 31, 2022. The data shall be analysed and reported following the methodology of previous years’ reporting to ensure consistency.

We foresee that we will do some cancer data entry troubleshooting for several months, after which the NCO team will need basic and advanced training on cancer data analytics and reporting, as well as a study visit to a cancer registry site to acquire advanced knowledge about cancer registry management and improvement.

Hripsime Martirosyan
Patient Advocate Inspire2Live

For more information about the work of Hripsime visit the website of Heneran Fund or follow them on Facebook.

Inspire2Live advocates cooperated already in a very productive way in Armenia with experts from WHO/IARC and the Dutch Cancer Registries. Read more about this project >>