Cancer verifications service
The Cancer Verifications Service (CVS) confirms diagnoses and details of cancer on the NSW Cancer Registry.
Who can request a cancer verification?
Health professionals: Family cancer service clinicians and other health professionals may request a cancer verification to help assess the risk of hereditary cancer for patients and their families.
Individuals may request access to their own information held on the NSW Cancer Registry.
In limited circumstances, requests for information about a deceased family member may be made—see below note on deceased patients.
The Cancer Verifications Service does not accept requests from researchers.
Please ensure you approach hospitals and treating doctors for medical records prior to making a request to the CVS. If records have been destroyed by the source institution or cannot be found, you may make a request following the 5 steps below.
- Complete the request form: All requests to the CVS require a CVS Request Form (PDF) to be completed. Complete sections 1–3.
- Obtain consent: Provide written evidence that the patient whose cancer is to be verified consents to the verification:
- Individuals requesting their own information should sign the CVS Request Form to indicate their consent.
- Family cancer clinicians may provide EITHER a copy of the CVS Request form signed by the patient OR a copy of their own FCC consent form signed by the patient. See FCC Consent Form notes below.
- If the patient is deceased, a family member may sign on their behalf in limited circumstances—see below Note on deceased patients.
- Provide additional documentation (if necessary): Additional documentation may be required for some requests. For example, individuals seeking access to their own information will need to provide proof of identity (two forms of identity are required e.g. copy of driver's licence and passport).
- Submit your request securely: Submit all documentation regarding your request to CINSW-HCR@health.nsw.gov.au. Please encrypt or password protect personal health information. Alternatively, you may post your request to:
Cancer Verifications Service, Hereditary Cancer Registry, PO Box 2011, St Leonards NSW 1590.
- Allow four weeks for processing: We will phone or email you once your request is received. Valid requests will be checked by a medical coder against the NSW Cancer Registry. The completed verification will then be returned to the recipient you have nominated in Section 3 of the form. Please allow up to four weeks for processing.
A person’s health information remains protected by NSW privacy laws for 30 years after their death. Consent is required to disclose a person’s health information. Therefore, the CVS cannot disclose information about people who have been deceased for less than 30 years.
The CVS may disclose information about people who have been deceased for more than 30 years when the information is requested by a family member. Eligible family members include third degree relatives.
Family Cancer Clinics (FCCs) may provide a copy of their own consent form (i.e. 'FCC Consent to Release Medical Information' form) as evidence that consent for the verification has been obtained. The consent form must include a statement authorising the FCC to verify the patient’s cancer history. If the patient has signed the FCC consent form, then the they do NOT also need to sign the CVS Request Form.
Information about the NSW Cancer Registry
- The NSW Cancer Registry was first established as the Central Cancer Registry in 1972. Data for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is available from 1994. Verification of diagnoses prior to this date will not be available.
- The NSWCR is currently processing 2021 data, therefore verification data may not be available for more recent diagnoses.
- The NSWCR is unable to provide any information about Squamous Cell Carcinomas of the skin, Basal Cell Carcinomas, benign tumours, tumours of uncertain behaviours, or in-situ cancers (with the exception of breast and melanoma), as these data are not notifiable under the Public Health Act.
- Data collection of breast ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) commenced in 2000, being largely complete by 2002.
- If no cancer information is found on the NSWCR for a patient, this should not be viewed as a lack of a cancer diagnosis but could be due to a number of other reasons e.g. a patient was diagnosed before the NSWCR commenced data collection, cancer registration was made interstate, or the notification was not received by the registry.
Where to get more information
If you have any queries about the Cancer Verifications Service or about submitting a request, please call 1800 505 644 or email CINSW-HCR@health.nsw.gov.au.