Cancer registry is an information system designed for the collection, storage, management and analysis of data from cancer patient. Cancer registry provides population-based data of cancer incidence, mortality and survival, which are vital for decision making regarding cancer prevention and control. The data generated by cancer registry also enable public health professionals to understand and address the cancer burden more effectively. In this featured interview, Prof. Wanqing Chen described the past, present and future of cancer registry in China. Opportunities and challenges for cancer registry in China were also discussed.