The NCR, a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, is the primary cancer surveillance system and most extensive repository of cancer data in South Africa. It was established in 1986 as a voluntary, pathology-based cancer surveillance system, and continues to operate; its database contains over 1,2 million cancer records with about 80 000 new cases added each year. The NCR currently has a staff complement of 15 who receive approximately 80,000 cancer notifications annually. About 60,000 are new cases forming the basis of which the cancer incidence is estimated.