WCRS: Information for Researchers

Printed spreadsheet / reportData for diagnosis years 1995-2019 are currently available for request

One of the functions of the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System (WCRS) is to provide data for research related to cancer prevention or control. Protecting patient confidentiality is of the utmost importance to WCRS and is required by Wis. Stat § 255.04.

There are three main types of data requests.

  •  Aggregate: Requests for aggregate case counts, incidence rates, or mortality rates at the county, region, or state level.
    • Estimated turnaround time: 1-3 weeks
  • Individual: Requests for individual-level data for case ascertainment or special analyses.
    • Estimated turnaround time: 2-6 months
  • Linkage: Requests to link a study dataset with WCRS data to obtain cancer-related information on the study's patients.
    • Estimated turnaround time: 2-6 months

Aggregate requests

Before making an aggregate data request, check out our public query tools at WISH (Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health) and cancer-rates.info to see if the information is available online. To request aggregate data that is not available online, please complete, sign, and return form F-00983 to dhswcrsdatarequests@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

Individual and linkage requests

Data containing personal identifiers or information on very small geographic areas can only be released for Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved research with internal review and approval from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Data Governance Board. All Individual and Linkage requests require internal review, as do aggregate requests for data below the Census Tract level.

All researchers interested in requesting individual level data should thoroughly review the Cancer Research Application Manual, P-00625 before proceeding with their application. In addition to other materials as stated in the manual, the following documents and forms are required to be submitted for an application to be considered for review:

Researchers who have an approved request that requires transferring data to the WCRS can refer to our Web Plus Quick Guide for Researchers, P-03050 for data transfer steps.

Contact dhswcrsdatarequests@dhs.wisconsin.gov for any questions related to cancer registry data!​​​​​​

Last Revised: June 30, 2022