Our Team > Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Epidemiology & Biostatistics


The division was started in 1982 as Hospital Based Cancer Registry (HBCR) to assess hospital based cancer statistics. It was expanded as Epidemiology & Clinical Research in 1991 and renamed again as Cancer Epidemiology & Biostatistics in the year 2012.
The ongoing programmes of the division are summarised below.

  • Cancer Registry
        HBCR: Hospital based cancer registry
        PBCR: Population based cancer registry
  • Cancer surveillance programmes
        POCSS: Pattern of Care and Survival Studies
        PBCSS : Population Based Cancer Survival studies
  • Epidemiologic studies
  • Biostatistics studies
  • Doctoral Programmes in Epidemiology & Biostatistics
  • Teaching & Training in epidemiology, biostatistics and cancer registry operations
  • Statistical consultancy
        Provides cancer related data for planning, administration, control and research
  • Cancer screening programmes
  • Cancer awareness classes for professionals, health workers and general population

To establish a State-wide Cancer Registry in the division so as to contribute significantly to the Government on the geographic distribution of cancer so that better cancer control programmes shall be implemented in Kerala.

Cancer Registry

Provides reliable and a high quality cancer intelligence service through hospital and population-based cancer registries, cancer surveillance and screening programmes. These programmes play an essential role in the improvement of public health and healthcare through the implementation and monitoring of the national cancer control policies.

  • Hospital Based Cancer Registry (HBCR) HBCR was started in 1982 under the network of National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and regularly publishes information on magnitude, pattern, diagnostic details, stage at diagnosis and treatment modalities of patients reporting to the RCC. The data is used for patient care, hospital administration and clinical and epidemiological research. Presently, around 16,000 new patients are registered at RCC annually. Click here to see the 30-year consolidated report (1982-2011) and HBCR Annual reports since the year 2010.
  • Population Based Cancer Registry (PBCR) Cancer registry covering the Thiruvananthapuram Taluk has been included under the network of NCRP of ICMR since 2006. As Thiruvananthapuram being the state capital, a lot of requests have been received pertaining to the cancer statistics of the district. The Taluk registry has been expanded as District registry and has been included under the network of NCRP since 2012. Based on an official letter issued by the Principal Secretary, Government of Kerala to all health authorities in the district, co-operation from all hospitals has been obtained.
Cancer surveillance programmes

Survival of cancer depends on the aggressiveness of the disease, the effectiveness of treatment and biological factors such as age. Monitoring the survival over a period of time will give evidence on whether a particular cancer prevention programme is effective or not. The division runs the following cancer surveillance programmes.

  • Pattern Of Care and Survival Studies (POCSS) Hospital-based survival rates are used to evaluate the care provided in the hospital and it is named as Pattern Of Care and Survival Studies (POCSS). Systematic data abstraction on patterns of care and survival in cancers of the uterine cervix, breast and head & neck cancer patients reporting to the RCC has been started since 2006 in collaboration with NCRP of ICMR. In 2017, this programme is extended to obtain survival of ovarian cancer also. These cancers are abstracted using a specifically designed ‘Patient Information Form’. Losses to follow-up cases are traced through telephone enquiry, postal enquiry (if telephone numbers are not available) and finally house visits.
  • Population Based Cancer Survival Studies (PBCSS) Population Based Cancer Survival Study provides an idea of the effectiveness of the overall cancer control strategy in the registry area. It gives a baseline on impact of cancer and its treatment on the population and helps to plan health facilities and services for improvement of survival. PBCSS on cancers of the breast, cervix uteri, head & neck have been started in the division since 2017 in collaboration with NCRP of ICMR.
Epidemiologic studies

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution of health and disease in populations and of the factors that influence that distribution. The knowledge gained from epidemiologic studies can be used to understand disease processes and to develop programs intended to improve the health status of populations.
The ongoing epidemiologic studies of the division are:

  • Comparative study of genetic, clinical and epidemiological factors of breast cancer in Indian population.
  • Density mapping and environmental factors of cancer in Thiruvananthapuram district using Geographic Information System (GIS).
  • The Impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on stage and survival of gastrointestinal cancer: a comparative study of Canada and South India.
  • Role of cervical HPV infection in progression or regression of Pap smear diagnosis of atypical squamous cells among women.
  • Reasons for diagnostic delay, treatment refusal/incompleteness, and loss to follow-up: a Hospital-Based Cancer Registry Study in Trivandrum, India.
  • Nutritional risk factors of breast cancer: a case-control study.
Biostatistics studies
Biostatistics is a scientific discipline that focuses on study design and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data to improve human health. The areas of research in Biostatistics include: survival analysis, clinical trials, Bayesian methods, longitudinal data analysis, spatial analysis, analysis of screening and diagnostic tests, analysis of epidemiologic data, statistical genomics, statistical genetics, Likelihood and Information Theory, Mixture models and so on.

The ongoing biostatistics studies of the division are:
  • Modelling recurrent and terminal events in cancer survival due to non-proportionality in follow up and hazards.
  • Relative cancer survival estimation in Thiruvananthapuram.
Doctoral Programmes
The division offers two doctoral level programs, viz. Epidemiology and Biostatistics. It currently provides guidance to 8 doctoral students in Epidemiology and 1 student in Biostatistics.

Teaching & Training
The division conducts academic sessions in Biostatistics for postgraduate students of RCC. It also conducts short-term training in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Cancer Registry Operations.

Statistical consultancy
Assistance is provided to statistical design and data analysis to the postgraduates and faculties under various divisions of RCC.

Cancer screening programmes
The division is entrusted with the conduct of a large number of opportunistic cancer screening programmes in Kerala. We have been conducting Pap smear screening clinic at the Government Women & Children Hospital, Thycaud and District Model Hospital, Peroorkada, Thiruvananthapuram.

Cancer awareness classes
The division offers training and orientation on a regular basis to Medical Officers, members of Thiruvananthapuram district Panchayat, Junior Public Health Nurses and ASHA workers of Thiruvanathapuram district.
Epidemiology Team »