The Government has announced a significant revamp of information gathered and stored on cancer.
The move to upgrade the New Zealand Cancer Registry was made by Health Minister Tony Ryall at the inaugural International Cancer Symposium in Wellington on Monday.
The registry was established to track progress and monitor the effectiveness of cancer treatments while allowing health planners to determine future needs for services.
However, a review in 2009 found that the 63-year-old registry is not meeting key objectives.
Mr Ryall says it will be expanded to cover data from public and private health services overseen by doctors and online.
The minister says it is expected that authorised clinicians, like family doctors, will be able to access the data on their own patients.
Patients should also be able to see their own information, he says.
Details about cancer cases must be forwarded from pathology laboratories to the registry which receives some 20,000 new registrations each year.