Since 2001, data on oncological treatments have been recorded and evaluated in the Hessian Cancer Registry. An amendment to the Cancer Registry Act is now pending. Everyone in the state parliament agrees that the data set is important for research - and must be funded.
Wiesbaden (dpa/lhe) - With a reform of its cancer registry, Hessen wants to use this data even better in the future in the fight against the disease. "The more information is available about a cancer, the therapy used and its result, the higher the chances of making therapy successes visible and of recognizing and eliminating gaps in oncological care," explained Minister of Social Affairs Kai Klose (Greens) on Wednesday in the state parliament in Wiesbaden.
According to him, the amendment to the Cancer Registry Act is intended, among other things, to increase the quality of the data and strengthen the rights of patients. In addition, administrative offense proceedings should be possible in the future if the obligation to report cancer is violated. "For the first time, we are also introducing a deletion period for the data collected ten years after the last report," explained Klose when introducing the bill.
In order to receive more reports, in future not only employed doctors should be solely responsible for cancer registration, but also the management of facilities in which tumor patients are treated. According to the plans of the state government, the Hessian cancer registry should in future conduct research itself and make its data available to other institutions.
Epidemiological cancer registration has been enshrined in law in Hesse since 2001 and has been implemented nationwide at state level since 2006, as the Ministry of Social Affairs explained. Hessian (dental) doctors who are involved in the treatment of malignant tumor diseases are obliged to transmit information. The cancer registry has been located in the new Hessian State Office for Health and Care since 2023.
The state government's plans met with overwhelming approval in the state parliament. "With the Cancer Registry Act, the treatment and, ideally, the healing of one of the most common and insidious diseases can be improved," said SPD health expert Daniela Sommer. The forthcoming legal reform must deal, among other things, with the removal of unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and questions of financing.
The FDP MP Yanki Pürsün also welcomed the further development of the cancer registry. However, the planned sanctions for non-reporters should have come earlier, he said. Volker Richter from the AfD parliamentary group called the fight against cancer a "task for society as a whole".
The representative of the left faction, Petra Heimer, called on everyone to take advantage of the preventive medical check-ups. She called for future data collection to also take into account whether cancer may have something to do with the patient's workplace.
According to the State Statistical Office, around 99,500 Hessians were treated with cancer in a German hospital in 2021. With a clear difference of around 21 percent, "malignant neoplasms of the digestive organs" led to inpatient admission. In second place was the diagnosis "malignant neoplasms of the respiratory organs and other intrathoracic organs" (14 percent).