The authors summarize the basic objectives and scope of the Hungarian Cancer Registry. They review more than 100-year history of the national cancer database and its effects on current cancer data collection activities, which is outstanding in Europe. The compilation deals with the development of information technology, covers points of principle and practical issues such as parallel display and evaluation of mortality and morbidity statistics and their national and international importance concerning public health. The authors underline that reliable data collection and services of the National Cancer Registry are important for the society because they are public health issues with a critical importance for a better understanding of risk factors, prevention and patient care. Restructuring and European harmonization of the Hungarian cancer system are inevitable using a reliable information exchange and service, taking into account national specificities and international requirements.
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