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Release: Aug. 13, 1999

State Health Registry of Iowa recognized for excellence

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two recent honors for excellence have distinguished the State Health Registry of Iowa -- based at the University of Iowa -- as one of the premier cancer registries in the United States and the world.

The registry, directed by Charles Lynch, M.D., Ph.D., professor of epidemiology in the UI College of Public Health, earned a Gold Standard award from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries in recognition of its quality, completeness and timeliness of data.

The second accolade, in a report from the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, identified the Iowa registry as having the best overall quality score among all SEER participants. The State Health Registry of Iowa is one of 10 registries nationwide reporting data to the NCI.

"Taken together, these awards indicate that of all central cancer registries in the nation, the Iowa registry is the best," observed James Merchant, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the UI College of Public Health.

Since 1973 the State Health Registry of Iowa has worked collaboratively with the Iowa Department of Public Health to collect medical data on every Iowan diagnosed with cancer. In addition to monitoring new cancer cases, the registry also compiles cancer survival and mortality data on all Iowans. Cancer is a reportable disease under the Iowa Code.

Other components of the registry's mission include promoting and conducting cancer prevention and control studies, responding to requests for population-based cancer data, and providing data and expertise for research and educational needs.

In 1999 the registry estimates there will be 13,800 new cancer cases among Iowans. Each year, the registry summarizes these data in a report to the public called "Cancer in Iowa."

The State Health Registry of Iowa is funded by the NCI and the state of Iowa.