Cancer diagnosis

Afbeelding kankerdiagnoses

The Belgian Cancer Registry (BCR) seeks to achieve comprehensive, high-quality cancer registration in Belgium. To accomplish this aim, BCR works closely with the various Belgian centres that diagnose cancers, in particular hospitals and pathological anatomy/clinical biology/haematology laboratories. 


Hospitals with oncological care programmes and offering basic cancer care are legally obliged to cooperate in cancer registration. They must record at least the following parameters using a cancer registration form designed specifically for this purpose: 

1)    unique patient identifiers including demographic parameters (i.e. date of birth, sex and postal code) and unique identification of the care programme and hospital;
2)    diagnosis according to international classification, including incidence date;
3)    tumour stage (cTNM);
4)    conclusion of the pathology report (including pTNM);
5)    treatment with reference to guidelines or justification for deviating from them;
6)    follow-up plan;
7)    side effects;
8)    disease-free survival and survival (i.e. treatment outcome); and 
9)    date of death.

To ensure the quality of cancer registration, BCR organises several training courses each year for registration staff working in the cancer care programmes of Belgian hospitals. (Newly employed) registration staff are offered basic training several times a year, in addition to more in-depth online training on a specific topic within cancer registration.


Additionally, pathological anatomy/clinical biology/haematology laboratories are required by law to register all test results corresponding to a cancer diagnosis according to specifically established guidelines. These data, together with the associated pathology reports, are transferred to BCR in the form of a structured dataset. 


BCR organises information sessions at regular intervals for the laboratory staff responsible for cancer registration. Various topics may be covered during an info session, such as information on the final processing of the data received, additional explanation of laboratory feedback reports, etc. 

More information on training and info sessions for registration staff in cancer care programmes and/or laboratories can be found through the professional platform.