Breast cancer registers


What we do

Breast cancer registers

The Breast Cancer Patient Registers allow researchers to have access to a wealth of data, so that they can improve treatments in New Zealand.

Since 2000, as part of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ’s ‘Research for Life ‘ Programme, The Foundation has provided significant funding – over $2.5 million – to the development and on-going management of four New Zealand regional Breast Cancer Patient Registers: Auckland, Waikato, Christchurch and Wellington.

The four regional registers began collecting data:

  • Auckland – 1 June 2000
  • Waikato – 1 January 2005
  • Christchurch – 15 June 2009
  • Wellington – 1 January 2010

Breast Cancer Patient Registers consolidation

The Breast Cancer Patient Registers (Auckland: which covers Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau DHBs , Waikato, Wellington: Wairarapa, Capital & Coast, Hutt Valley DHBs, and Christchurch: Canterbury District Health Board), collect approximately 63% of all New Zealand breast cancer registrations (around 1600 per annum).

BCFNZ is leading and funding a project to consolidate the regional registers into a single, modern, web-based platform that will add significant value towards future-proofing these valuable datasets. The new platform will make it easier for data to be made available to clinicians for clinical decision-making and review of outcomes, standards of treatment, scientific research and audits. The ultimate vision of collecting these data is to drive improvements in our treatment and care of breast cancer in New Zealand.

Dendrite Clinical Systems Ltd. (United Kingdom), was selected to develop the IT platform which will be securely stored at the Ministry of Health IT platform alongside similar clinical registries. Patient data will remain confidential and coded to ensure details are not identifiable. The partnership has been a collaboration between BCFNZ, Ministry of Health and the National Health IT Board.

For more information on the NZBCR including the Participant Information Sheet (Patient Brochure) please contact the regional data manager for your area (details below) or contact BCFNZ at 0800 BCNurse.

Why does New Zealand need a national breast cancer patient register (database)?

New Zealand needs a national breast cancer patient register because breast cancer is a significant health issue for New Zealand women. It is the leading cause of cancer deaths for women. Maori women are almost 50% more likely to die from their cancer than non-Maori and all New Zealand women have a higher death rate from breast cancer when compared to other countries such as Canada, the United States and Australia. Alarmingly, New Zealand’s breast cancer death rate is 20% higher than Australia’s.

What is the purpose of a breast cancer register?

A breast cancer register allows us to have a greater understanding of the nature of breast cancer and its treatment in New Zealand. It records detailed information about diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of patients with breast cancer within New Zealand. For example, the information tells us how well patients do on different treatments and what treatments are most successful. As Gavin Harris, a Specalist Pathologist in Christchurch highlights, “breast cancer registers help to improve the management and treatment of current and future NZ breast cancer patients”.

How do we do this?

The current regional registers are computerised databases where the information is entered and stored in a confidential manner. Each group has governance controlling the use and release of information.

Both public and private sector breast cancer patients are eligible to participate in the regional registers; however, participation is voluntary and participants do have the right to opt out of the register if they wish. .

90-95% of patients consent to their details being included in a register. Participants are followed up each year to monitor how they are doing following their breast cancer diagnosis. All registers include patients with invasive breast cancer and DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ – a pre-invasive cancer).

Contact Details for Auckland, Waikato, Christchurch and Wellington Registers


Troydyn Raturaga, Lead Data Manager
Auckland Breast Cancer Study Group

Physical Address:
Building 4, Level 6, Rm 64-166
Greenlane Clinical Centre

Postal Address:
Private Bag 92189
Auckland 1142

Ph: (09) 630 9943 Ext 26730
Fax: (09) 631 0730


Rachel Shirley | Breast Cancer Register Co-ordinator
Waikato Breast Cancer Research Trust

Pysical Address:
Hockin Building
Waikato Hospital Campus

Postal Address:
Private Bag 3200 Hamilton 3240 NZ

Ph: (07) 839 8726 Ext 97503
Fax: (07) 834 3657


Val Davey, Coordinator
Christchurch Breast Cancer Patient Register

Physical Address:
Dept of General Surgery
Christchurch Hospital
245 Antigua Street

Postal Address:
Private Bag 4710
Christchurch 8140

Ph: (03) 378 6389


Kelley Barrett, Data Manager
Wellington Regional Breast Cancer Study Group

Pysical Address:
Wellington Hospital
Clinical Trials Unit
Level 8
Ward Support Block

Ph: (04) 918 5114