DOH Logo, Link to Department of Health Home Page Washington State Cancer Registry

Program Information
Patti Migliore Santiago
Program Manager, WSCR

Prevention and
Community Health

Data Updated:

Report Updated:

WSCR Data Online (WSCR-DO) V2
About the Washington State Cancer Registry

Cancer Case Reporting
Data Sources


In 1990, RCW 70.54.230 made cancer a reportable condition in Washington and mandated the Department of Health to establish a statewide cancer registry program. Under this mandate, the Department established the Washington State Cancer Registry (WSCR) in 1991. The registry is dedicated to fulfillment of the legislative intent " establish a system to accurately monitor the incidence of cancer in the state of Washington for the purposes of understanding, controlling, and reducing the occurrence of cancer in this state." Since 1994, funding for WSCR has been provided, in part, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Program of Cancer Registries. This program is designed to standardize data collection and provide information for cancer prevention and control programs at the local, state, and national levels.

Cancer Case Reporting

The cancer reporting rules (246-102 WAC) currently define reportable cancers or conditions. These generally include the following: (a) any malignant neoplasm with the exception of basal and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin other than genital areas; (b) basal and squamous cell carcinoma of the external genital organs (vulva, labia, clitoris, prepuce, penis, anus); (c) any cancer in situ (non-invasive) except cancer in situ of the uterine cervix; (d) any benign (non-malignant) intracranial or central nervous system tumor, and (e) certain hematopoietic conditions identified as pre-malignant. Copies of the cancer reporting legislation and regulations are available.

Cancer case information is reported to the Washington State Cancer Registry from a variety of reporting sources. These reporting sources include hospitals and other health care facilities, pathology laboratories, ambulatory surgery centers, freestanding radiation and oncology centers, medical clinics and health care providers who diagnose and/or treat cancers or conditions that meet the criteria for reportability.

The general types of cancer information reported to the State Cancer Registry consists of the following: (a) patient and facility demographics including confidential information; (b) cancer identification; (c) staging or extent of disease information at the time of diagnosis; (d) treatment information; (e) follow-up information including vital status, date of last contact, and tumor status.

Outside of the Puget Sound region, cases are transmitted directly to the State Cancer Registry. Case information is transmitted to the State Cancer Registry by means of Secure File Transfer or limited access mechanism. Case information at the State Registry remains in a restricted and highly confidential environment. Employees at the State Cancer Registry have access only as needed to perform required duties. The State Cancer Registry contracts with the Cancer Surveillance System (CSS) at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle to receive and perform quality assurance activities on cases within the thirteen counties surrounding the Puget Sound region, following the same restricted and confidential protocols described above to insure individual confidentiality. These too are then transmitted to the State Cancer Registry.

The State Cancer Registry is responsible for merging the data and finalizing the statewide data set, conducting overall quality assurance activities in accordance with national standards, and dissemination of cancer information to assist with cancer prevention and control efforts statewide.

Data Sources

Washington State Cancer Incidence Data: Washington State Department of Health, Washington State Cancer Registry, released in April 2022.

Population Estimates: Washington State Office of Financial Management, released in January 2021.

Washington State Mortality Data: Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, released in May 2021.

National Cancer Data are from SEER*Stat, public use file (see relevant year published report background and text at PDF Reports for which SEER*Stat version and public use file were used)


The wide variety of health care facilities who report cancer data in Washington, their medical staffs, medical records personnel and especially cancer registrars, whose participation and cooperation help to make the Washington State Cancer Registry a tool in cancer control and prevention.

This work was funded in part by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement #DP17-1701 DP006326.

Data from the Cancer Surveillance System of Western Washington of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are funded, in part, by Contract No. HHSN 261201800004I and Control No. N01 PC-2018-00001 from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute with additional support from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

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Washington State Cancer Registry
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