In a June 21 letter to the editor, a physician called attention to the mandatory reporting of cancer and the requirements of Orange County physicians to report all cases of cancer diagnosed or treated in Orange County.
The principle concern expressed by the author regarding this requirement is the possibility of placing an additional burden on the cancer patient.
In reality, the identification of individuals and their diagnoses will never be public property. The protection of confidentiality within the cancer reporting system of California over the past ten years has been effective; there is no reported case of breach of cancer patient confidentiality.
We feel that beyond the issue of confidentiality, there are other concerns that should be of importance to both the general public and to cancer patients. Cancer treatment in many cases is at best a chancy thing.