The EKN was established by the federal state of Lower Saxony with the task of recording all new cancer cases and cancer deaths in Lower Saxony. The legal basis for the cancer registry is the Act on the Epidemiological Cancer Registry Lower Saxony (GEKN) in its revised version of January 1, 2013. The aim of the comprehensive cancer registration is to further the fight against cancer and research into its causes. The tasks of the cancer registry include,

1. To observe the occurrence and trends of tumor diseases and evaluate them statistically from an epidemiological perspective.

2. To provide data for health planning and for epidemiological research, including causal research.

3. To provide data for an evaluation of preventive and curative measures and to contribute to the quality assurance of oncological care.

4. To provide data for scientific research.

5. To support studies in occupational and nutritional medicine and environmental toxicology.