Using Israel’s national cancer registry database to track progress in the war on cancer: A challenge for the health services

Eliezer Robinson, Barbara G. Silverman, Lital Keinan-Boker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The number of cancer survivors has been increasing worldwide and is now approximately 32.6 million and growing. Cancer survivors present a challenge to health care providers because of their higher susceptibility to long-term health outcomes related to their primary disease and treatment. Objectives: To report on the number of cancer survivors and incident cancer cases in the period 1960–2009 in Israel, reflecting the scope of the challenge faced by Israel’s health care funds. Methods: The Israel National Cancer Registry (INCR) database was used to identify new cancer cases diagnosed during the period 1960–2009. Lifetable analysis was used to assess changes in cumulative survival and population prevalence of cancer survivors throughout the 50 year study period. Results: Almost 600,000 invasive cancer cases were diagnosed during the period 1960–2009 (overall absolute survival rate, 54%). Within this time period, the number of new patients diagnosed with cancer increased fivefold and that of cancer survivors ninefold. The absolute survival of cancer patients and the prevalence of cancer survivors in the general population significantly increased with time from 34% and 0.5%, respectively (1960–1969) to 62% and 1.9%, respectively (2000–2009). Cumulative absolute survival for 5, 10 and 15 years following diagnosis increased with time as well. Conclusions: The INCR database is useful to assess progress in the war against cancer. The growing numbers of cancer survivors in Israel present a challenge to the national health and social services system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Israel Medical Association. All rights reserved.


  • Cancer incidence and prevalence
  • Cancer registry
  • Health care system
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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