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Victorian on-line 'self-service' cancer statistics system launched

Thursday 7 May, 2009

The Victorian Cancer Registry today launched its new "self-service" data system to make available, for the first time, on-line access to extensive Victorian cancer data.

Named The Accessible Registry Data Interrogation System (TARDIS) the new system enables Internet access to cancer mortality and incidence data in a variety of formats enabling data comparison locally, internationally and Australia wide.

The Cancer Council Victoria, through its Cancer Epidemiology Centre, manages the Victorian Cancer Registry and has for many years published annual statistics in its Canstat publications.

Much of this data will be available on-line from today from the interactive reporting system or as prepared slides from the downloadable Victorian cancer slides compendium.

More than a quarter of century of cancer data are available presented in a variety of reports and graph formats or as data downloads. Each report can be user-customised by a variety of factors such as cancer type, region or time period.

"The availability of accurate and timely data on incidence and mortality outcomes is essential for cancer control and the Victorian Cancer Registry is central to public health planning," Cancer Council Victoria Director Professor David Hill, AO said today.

"Our new online data query system allows anyone interested in cancer statistics, including researchers and public health professionals, easy access to this valuable information resource and the interactive data query system provides expanded capacity for evaluating interventions and to facilitate future planning.

"Cancer is becoming more common as the Victorian population ages. The data is increasingly sought by planners for services such as radiotherapy units and hospices," he said.

Cancer Epidemiology Centre Director, Professor Graham Giles, said over 400 data requests a year are received from external organisations and today's launch of the on-line data base would give easier and faster access to this information.

"Scientists, planners and even the local community can access the database and seek out information which is relevant to their needs. It's a bit like a data supermarket where you can access exactly what you are looking for 24 hours a day via our Internet," he said.

The data query system had been designed to be user friendly by Space Time Research.