Data from a well-functioning regional population-based cancer registry makes it possible to calculate a system of indicators characterizing the level of cancer morbidity and mortality of regional population at a certain period of time. These indicators are similar in their characteristics to those of life-tables and are virtually independent of the population’s age structure. To some extent they are also independent of the past levels of cancer morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, the scope of analysis of data from Russian regional population-based cancer registries is limited. The completeness of incidence and mortality records also remains unknown. We have conducted an analysis of data from 5 regional population-based cancer registries of the North-West Federal District of Russia for early 2002 to late 2013. This article was designed as a comparative study of two time periods: 2002-2007 and 2008-2013. We have analyzed the changes in incidence and mortality (lethality) from the most common groups of malignant neoplasms. We have analyzed the levels and dynamics of age-standardized incidence and mortality rates alongside tabular indicators such as the total number of incident cases, the total number of deaths, the average age at malignant disease onset, the average life expectancy of those ill with cancer, etc. The main purpose is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed analytical methods and the entire range of possible research capabilities that will become available should open access to data from Russian population-based cancer registries be granted.
Cancer is one of the major non-communicable diseases posing a threat to world health. Unfortunately, improvements in socioeconomic conditions are usually associated with increased cancer incidence. In this Commission, we focus on China, India, and Russia, which share rapidly rising cancer incidence and have cancer mortality rates that are nearly twice as high as in the UK or the USA, vast geographies, growing economies, ageing populations, increasingly westernised lifestyles, relatively disenfranchised subpopulations, serious contamination of the environment, and uncontrolled cancer-causing communicable infections. We describe the overall state of health and cancer control in each country and additional specific issues for consideration: for China, access to care, contamination of the environment, and cancer fatalism and traditional medicine for India, affordability of care, provision of adequate health personnel, and sociocultural barriers to cancer control; and for Russia, monitoring of the burden of cancer, societal attitudes towards cancer prevention, effects of inequitable treatment and access to medicine, and a need for improved international engagement.