We evaluated the relative usefulness of data on head and neck cancer available on the websites of cancer registries in the United Kingdom. Data were analysed to determine the accuracy and completeness of essential information related to the incidence of head and neck cancer.
We found that 16 per cent (2/11) of the registries had some cancer data but none relating to head and neck cancer patients. Seventy-five per cent (9/12) of the registries had selected data on head and neck cancer, but 33 per cent (3/9) of these pooled the various head and neck cancers into a single group. The remainder of registries offering data [66 per cent (6/9)] had a variety of ways of grouping and presenting the various types of head and neck cancer. The overall value and usefulness of head and neck cancer information on these websites were limited, especially when all the sites were considered together.
The cancer registries collectively possess an extremely important asset of immense value to both the medical profession and, possibly, patients with cancer. The accessibility of this data and the overall experience of those seeking information on this subject could be improved. However, this would require significant thought, collaboration and agreement between each registry, which would involve significant extra investment.