Epidemiology of cancer as a tool to develop a population based cancer registry in the United Arab Emirates
The purpose of this study was to assess the possibility of developing a population based cancer registry in the United Arab Emirates. As this was retrospective and explorative in nature, the study was performed in two stages, the initial stage where the researcher examined critically routinely collected data that is needed to support a cancer registry as well as assessed data on cancer that were obtained from Al Mafraq Hospital records. The final stage took place in Al Ain Medical District where detailed study of the existing practice with respect to cancer registration were undertaken in respond to a request form Ministry of Health, data on cancer were obtained from health care services and cancer registry records. Other information was obtained from key officials and health professionals in the district using qualitative methods. The initial stage showed that this was the first study of this kind in the United Arab Emirates and that cancer data production and recording is a complex intervention, where health and health related professionals and patients are involved. It also revealed that the key professionals were supportive to the study and showed positive attitude. The initial study indicated that there was deficiency in the data collected routinely as well as there was no cancer registry in Al-Mafraq Hospital. Furthermore, the data collected from medical record witnessed deficiency in their completeness and quality. Lack of education and training related to cancer data handling were observed during the fieldwork. The assessment of the population data sources indicated that there was no single data source that might provide a comprehensive and accurate data regarding Al Ain population. This condition was mainly created due to unique demographic pattern of a highly mobile population dominated by expatriates. The final stage showed that health facilities in Al Ain Medical District are capable of producing cancer data especially clinical data. However deficiencies in item definition, complete recording and storing of data by health professionals within the health facilities were identified.