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People from different disciplines participate in trying to control cancer. The major role of the cancer registry in cancer control takes the nature of intelligence gathering about the current cancer burden in    a    community, providing the data needed to uncover the causes of cancer in humans and for evaluation of the effects of steps taken to the control of the disease (Jensen O.M. et al., 1991).
  • To collect data, keep a register and follow up all residents of the Maltese Islands who are diagnosed with cancer.
  • To provide a surveillance function by using registry data to examine trends by age and gender, by cancer type, over time and across the nation. This is performed by issuing regular reports and by providing physicians and the general public with information they may need, while respecting strict confidentiality.

To facilitate epidemiological research. Much remains either unknown or poorly understood about the causes and the potential for prevention. The registry responds to a number of requests from people of differing interests, like students, clinicians and journalists. It also contributes information to international publications and databases.


The first attempts at cancer registration in Malta were started in the mid-1960s. In fact, cancer incidence data from Malta for the time period 1969-1972 were included in the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Volume III (IARC, 1976). However, these efforts were aborted in the mid-70s.
The present registry was started in the 1985. Initially, only data on cases diagnosed at St. Luke’s Hospital (the major acute general public hospital in Malta) were collected. However, since 1991 the registry has also been collecting data on cases diagnosed in all (public and private) hospitals, clinics and laboratories on the Maltese Islands.
The registry has now been a full voting member of the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) since January 1995. Incidence and mortality data for 1992-1993 has been included in Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Volume VII (IARC, 1997), while data on cases diagnosed between 1993-1997 was published in Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Volume VIII (IARC, 2002). Cancer survival of Maltese cancer patients diagnosed from 1993-1994 were analyzed and compared with the survival of cases diagnosed and treated in other European countries in the EUROCARE-3 study (Annals of Oncology, Volume 14, Supplement 5, 2003). Information of cases diagnosed from 1995-1999 has recently been submitted for inclusion in the EUROCARE-4 study.


The register is population-based and aims at covering all cancer diagnoses performed on residents of the Maltese Islands. These amount to about 1,200 new diagnoses per year excluding non-melanocytic skin cancers.
The population of Malta in the 2005 census was 404,962. The total area of the Islands is 316 km2 .


Types of Neoplasms collected at MNCR

  • All malignant neoplasms
  • All ‘in-situ’ neoplasms (including all levels of CIN)
  • Some neoplasms of uncertain or unknown behaviour (eg: Myelodyplastic Syndrome)
  • Certain benign tumours (mainly those arising in the CNS)

Main sources of information and reports received at the Cancer Registry


Sources Reported by  
Clinical notification Hospital doctors, GP’s and others Notification of Cancer Act, 1957
Copy of histology and cytology report Pathology laboratories State-owned (1) and private (8)
Copy of autopsy report Pathology laboratories Autopsies are only done in state-owned general hospitals
Death certificates National Mortality Registry Another registry at DHI
New referrals to Oncology department Oncologists There is only one Oncology centre on the Islands

Data on cancer site and morphology is coded using the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, Second edition (World Health Organization, 1990).

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Notification of Cancer Form UPDATED (19/12/03)


Unless otherwise stated all documents are in pdf format.



Annual Cancer Report 1996 - 1997 - Book & Tables

Cancer in the Maltese Islands 1998 - 2000 - Book & Tables​


​Gauci, D., Allemani, C., & Woods, L.  "Population-level cure of colorectal cancer in Malta:  An analysis of patients diagnosed between 1995 and 2004". Cancer Epidemiology 42(2016):32-38
Abstract availabe on the link below, full text available on request:

All Cancer Regional Analysis 

The following documents include information on incidence and mortality by year, gender and age groups for the following selected cancer sites (see table definitions​) - Incidence & mortality tables trends between 2007 and 2019. Updated January 2023.

All cancers​​


The Malta National Cancer Registry collects and processes personal information regarding cancers for statistical and research purposes and in the interests of public health. All data is collected and processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act (Malta, 2001). The Registry does not disclose identifiable data outside the Health Division unless the law permits it. All individuals are entitled to know what information, the Registry holds about them.