Monitoring Compliance for CoC Standard 5.8 Pulmonary Resection

Michele Webb, CTR Oncology Leave a Comment

In 2020 the CoC announced new operative standards and quality measures for breast, melanoma, colon, rectum, and lung primary sites. Two of the standards went into effect on January 1, 2021, including Standard 5.7 Total Mesorectal Excision (Rectum) and Standard 5.8 Pulmonary Resection (Lung). Compliance with each standard is based on documentation in the pathology reports...

Cigarette Smoking and Cancer in the U.S.

Topacio Garrido, MS, CTR CDC Leave a Comment

Cigarette smoking in the United States has been prevalent since the early 1900s, with approximately 3.5 billion cigarettes being sold. In 1965, congress passed legislation to place the surgeon general warning on every box of cigarettes sold in the United States. Prior to this, many Americans were not well informed or educated about the effects of cigarette smoke or even...

Cancer Registrars and Data Curation

Michele Webb, CTR Oncology Leave a Comment

Technology has come a long way! With a single click, we can have items delivered to our doorstep, catch a ride to the airport, or stay connected with family or friends anywhere in the world. Many of these technological advances add convenience to our lives but let us consider how technology helps cancer registrars affect lives.   Cancer Registrars have traditionally...

September - Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Patricia Hines, CTR Oncology Leave a Comment

Ovarian Cancer, often known as the “silent killer," or “whispering disease” among women according to Harvard.edu and NIH.gov, is considered the 5th leading cause of death in women, and the leading gynecological type of cancer death. The American Cancer Society estimates that "about 19,880 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States" in 2022, and close...

2022 Cancer Registrars’ Toolbox - Everything you Need to Abstract a 2022 Case in One Organized Toolbox

Patricia Hines, CTR Oncology Leave a Comment

Have you ever wished that everything you need to get your job done, could be found in one location? A handyman or woman depends daily on their toolbox to contain most of the necessary tools needed to complete a project. Without an organized toolbox, the task of trying to complete a project could take much longer when having to search over and over for everything one needs...

Coding Ki-67 for Breast Cancers

Michele Webb, CTR Oncology Leave a Comment

Ki-67 is a tumor marker that indicates cell proliferation or how quickly a cancer cell copies its DNA and divides into two (2) cells. The more rapidly the cells divide, the faster the cancer is growing or the more aggressive it is. Ki-67 testing was added to the AJCC 8th Edition Staging Manual and may be used for treatment planning purposes or to estimate treatment...

STORE Manual Changes 2022

Patricia Hines, CTR Commission on Cancer Leave a Comment

Effective January 1, 2022 According to STORE Manual, 2022 edition, STandards for Oncology Registry Entry (STORE v2022) (facs.org), the STORE, Standards for Oncology Registry Entry, was developed in 2014 by a group of professional Cancer Registrars, “representing CoC accredited hospitals, state registries, the SEER program of National Cancer Institute”, as well as many...

Targeted Cancer Prevention

Michele Webb, CTR Oncology Leave a Comment

The National Cancer Institute defines cancer prevention as “action taken to decrease the chance of getting a disease or condition.” They further define decreasing risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise. They also define increasing protective factors, such as regular physical activity, vaccination, staying at a healthy weight, and having a healthy...

Solid Tumor Rules Changes for 2022 - Kidney, Lung, Malignant CNS, Urinary, Melanoma and Other Sites

Patricia Hines, CTR Solid Tumor Rules Leave a Comment

Effective September 1, 2021, for all cases diagnosed January 1, 2022, and forward. This week we wrap up the remaining changes made to the Solid Tumor Rules. As with the previous sites, changes have been made to both the multiple primary and histology sections, as well as different tables within each section. Several of these changes also reflect several changes made to...

Solid Tumor Rules Changes for 2022 - Colon

Patricia Hines, CTR Solid Tumor Rules Leave a Comment

Effective September 1, 2021, for all cases diagnosed January 1, 2022 and forward.  As stated in the SEER online article, What is a Cancer Registry?, “cancer registries receive and collect data about cancer patients,” that is securely stored and submitted to other organizations, such as state Central Registries, SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program),...

Solid Tumor Rules Changes for 2022 - Breast

Patricia Hines, CTR Solid Tumor Rules Leave a Comment

Effective September 1, 2021, for all cases diagnosed January 1, 2022 and forward.  One of the most popular manuals used daily by cancer registrars is the Solid Tumor Rules. This manual helps determine which histology to use and the number of primaries to abstract when a patient has multiple biopsies and diagnoses. The Solid Tumor Rules manual, previously known as “The...

Solid Tumor Rules Changes for 2022 - Head and Neck

Patricia Hines, CTR Oncology Leave a Comment

Effective September 1, 2021, for all cases diagnosed January 1, 2022 and forward. Daily cancer abstracting requires the use of many manuals to abstract a patient’s case daily. One such manual is the Solid Tumor Rules manual by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER). The use of this manual, which according to the CancerRegistryeducation.org...

Telling a Patient’s Cancer Story in 8000 Characters or Less: The Use of Abbreviations in an Abstract

Patricia Hines, CTR Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

The daily struggle is real for cancer registrars with each abstract on how to stretch 1000 characters per text box while reporting a patient’s cancer story.  Eight thousand characters may sound like a lot until you start typing away. How many times did you focus on typing the patient’s information into a text box just to find out you already reached your 1000-character...

New Assigned Roles Within Rapid Cancer Reporting System (RCRS) Starts This Week

Patricia Hines, CTR Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

In September 2020, the well-known RQRS and NCDB Call for Data submissions programs were phased out with the release of the Commission on Cancer’s (COC) National Cancer Database (NCDB) new Rapid Cancer Reporting System (RCRS). The RQRS along with NCDB’s Call for Data, were both important tools used for quality improvement and real time reporting in accredited CoC...

Reportability of Pituitary Adenomas with Spontaneous Regression

Michele Webb, CTR Oncology Leave a Comment

Pituitary adenomas are tumors of the anterior pituitary gland. Most are slow-growing and benign. They are classified based on size or cell of origin and described as microadenoma, macroadenoma, or giant tumors. Microadenomas are usually less than 10 mm in size, while macroadenomas are larger than 10 mm. Giant pituitary tumors are bigger than 40 mm. Adenomas are further...

CoC Launches New Quality Measures in 2022

Michele Webb, CTR Oncology 1 Comment

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) requires accredited programs to treat cancer patients according to nationally accepted measures endorsed by the CoC. The measures are included in the Rapid Cancer Reporting System (RCRS) tool for monitoring and reporting purposes. Standard 7.1 states that each calendar year the expected performance rate should be met for each of the quality...

President’s Cancer Panel Addresses Gaps in Cancer Screening

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

Cancer screening saves lives and reduces the burden of cancer in the United States. However, gaps in screening programs mean far too many in the US are presenting with late-stage disease or dying from cancers that were preventable or could have been detected at an earlier stage. The socially and economically disadvantaged populations are often at higher risk for cancer...

Melanoma: A Primer for Cancer Registrars

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that arises in the melanocytes or cells that produce melanin and determines the color of your skin, or pigment. Melanoma can form in the eyes, and on rare occasions inside the body such as the nose or throat. Its exact causes are not always clear, but evidence does support exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning...

Navigating Rivers of Change at the NCRA 2022 Annual Conference

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry NCRA Leave a Comment

On April 6, 2022, the National Cancer Registrar’s Association (NCRA) will kick off its annual educational conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, DC. This year’s conference will offer a first-time ever hybrid experience where virtual attendees can watch the live streaming of the in-person sessions and take part in the live Q&A. Early...

Concurrent Abstracting

Cindy Zahn, MS Oncology Leave a Comment

When I first heard about concurrent abstracting years ago, I thought “they have got to be kidding”. Now, many years later, it is my reality. I have been doing concurrent abstracting since December of 2016. Although concurrent abstracting has many advantages, there are also disadvantages.  What is Concurrent Abstracting? Concurrent abstracting is when you complete the...

Cancer Prevention and Screening a Mixed Bag in 2021

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates, 608,570 deaths will occur from cancer in the United States in 2021. About 45% are attributed to potentially preventable, pre-pandemic causes such as tobacco smoking, obesity, alcohol intake, physical inactivity, and an unhealthy diet. In the ACS report Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Facts & Figures,...

Life of a Tumor Registrar in a Small Community Hospital Setting

Cindy Zahn, MS Oncology Leave a Comment

I am the sole tumor registrar at a small Commission on Cancer (CoC) accredited facility in the state of Vermont. I have been employed there for over five years. Because I am the only registrar, I am responsible for all the tasks that are involved in maintaining the tumor registry.  When I first started here, I worked 2.5 days at a hospital location and 2 days remotely...

New STORE and SEER Data Items for Rectal and Breast Cancers

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

In June 2020, the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) launched the Cancer Surgery Standards Program (CSSP) quality program to shift from standards based in facilities / equipment to outcomes-based standards. There is growing evidence-based research suggesting that adherence to specific operative reporting techniques leads to longer survival, better surgical outcomes and...

What You Need to Know About Palliative Care in 2021

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology 1 Comment

The purpose and intent of palliative care is often misunderstood. In 1990 the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized palliative care as a distinct medical specialty dedicated to relieving the suffering and improving the quality of life for patients with life-limiting illnesses, chronic disease, or serious injury. Despite its twenty-plus year history, many healthcare...

Spinal Cord Tumors: Reportable or Not?

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Inpatient Coding Leave a Comment

Deciding whether a spinal cord tumor is reportable or not can be a daunting task for even experienced cancer registrars. The decision-making process used for correct case-finding must begin with an understanding of the anatomy, terms and definitions used, and how benign and malignant spinal cord tumors are classified.     Spinal cord tumors are defined by their position...

Lung Cancer Awareness in November

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Health and Wellness 1 Comment

Lung Cancer Awareness is observed in November of each year and reminds us of some important facts.    Lung cancer is the number one cause of death in the United States for men and women. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) Cancer Facts and Figures 2021, an estimated 235,760 new lung cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2021 and 131,880...

pTX and pNX Removed from Cancer Staging Protocols

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

After extensive discussion with the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) the College of American Pathologists (CAP) announced in June, 2021 that use of pTX and pNX will be removed from the cancer staging protocols and no longer listed as an option in printed or electronic cancer staging protocols.   The group’s consensus was “…that of the AJCC as the standard-setting...

Cancer Registry Continuing Education (CE) Resources 2021

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

There are abundant cancer registry educational opportunities and resources for CTRs available today. The trick is finding the right program for your specific learning needs and budget. If you’ve not already read our recent post titled “4 Tips for Finding Great Continuing Education for Cancer Registrars” we recommend that you quickly review it before researching the list...

4 Tips for Finding Great Continuing Education for Cancer Registrars

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

In the cancer registry profession, initial training is only meant to get you in the door. Training programs provide the best and most current knowledge they can, but a Cancer Registrar’s knowledge base is continually advancing. It does not take long for the initial training to become outdated, hence the requirement for annual training.   Continuing education, or CE, is...

Oncology Studies Corrective Action Plans for Lasting Improvement

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

Corrective action is an aspect of quality management that focuses on rectifying a task, process, product, service, or individual behaviors when any of these factors produce errors, deviate from the original plan or benchmarks. Corrective actions can be thought of as an improvement an organization uses to eliminate undesirable or ineffective outcomes. In this seventh, and...

Oncology Quality Studies: Benchmarking Oncology Data

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology 1 Comment

In our sixth installment in this series on oncology quality studies we will look at the value, challenges, and recommendations for benchmarking oncology data.   Benchmarking is an excellent way to identify opportunities to enhance clinical practices, workflows, procedural efficiency, cost-effectiveness, utilization, and financial outcomes. There are many sources for...

Oncology Quality Studies: Prepare the Summary Analysis

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

In this fifth installment of our series on oncology quality studies we will discuss the preparation and writing of the summary analysis and study results. See links for parts 1-4 below.  Although there are no official content outlines for writing the final report, it is important to have a written document that states the project’s goals, lists the strategies used to...

7 Signs Your Cancer Registry is Performing Well

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

The cancer registry network is a powerful resource in oncology healthcare. The connections and relationships with members of the cancer care team are a valuable source of knowledge and provide many opportunities for resource-sharing and growth. The cancer registry should never be maintained solely for the purpose of meeting minimum reporting requirements. Instead, it...

Oncology Quality Studies: Study Conduct and Data Collection (Part 4)

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

In this fourth installment of our series on oncology quality studies we will talk about conducting the study according to the planned methodology or quality measures and how to organize the data collection process. The methodology is the roadmap, or strategy, that describes the way the study is to be conducted and identifies the methods to be used during the process. The...

Driving Data into the Future: NCRA Conference Overview

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry NCRA 1 Comment

On June 3 – 5, 2021 cancer registrars across the country came together for the National Cancer Registrar’s Association (NCRA) 47th Annual Educational Conference. This year’s event was held virtually and offered up to 29.25 continuing education (CE) hours featuring workshops and presentations from the standard-setting agencies and cancer registry community. Conference...

Oncology Quality Studies: Planning and Methodology (Part 3)

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

We have covered the first two steps in this multi-part series. In Step 1 we talked about assembling a team of experts to participate in the study project. In step 2 we identified the problem statement. Now, in Step 3 we will look how the study is conducted and the methodology used to structure the analysis.   Quality studies are, by intent, a process that is used to help...

Oncology Quality Studies: Identifying the Problem

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

Quality studies and improvements have much more value than merely meeting a cancer program standards requirement. If planned well and properly conducted, quality studies can energize the members of the team, reduce inefficiencies, increase cost effectiveness, and deliver value to the organization and patients it serves.   Read Part 1 of this article series HERE.  The...

Cancer Registrars: The Driving Force

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry NCRA Leave a Comment

If you have not heard yet, National Cancer Registrar’s Week (NCRW) is happening this week, April 5-9, 2021. We encourage you to join us by reaching out to your Cancer Registrar(s) to learn more about the work they do and to thank them for their service. This year’s theme, Cancer Registrars: The Driving Force of Cancer Data, underscores the role registrars expertly fill in...

Oncology Quality Studies: Creating a Team of Subject Matter Experts

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

There is a Japanese proverb that says, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” When cancer programs start establishing the quality initiative activities each year, they should set aside time to plan and explore proposed topics before launching into analysis or implementing solutions. Failure to take plan or methodically conduct a study...

COVID-19 and Cancer-Directed Surgery

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Covid-19 Leave a Comment

Elective surgeries were largely postponed or stopped entirely as the COVID-19 pandemic bore down on us. But as incidence and infection rates begin to taper off, the focus in many hospitals and surgery centers is turning to how they will “ramp up” to prepare for elective surgeries again. Understanding the current protocols, e.g., beds, testing, operating rooms (ORs) and...

Roadmap to Address Barriers to Care

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Many cancer patients encounter challenges that can delay or prevent them from receiving timely or appropriate care. In our current health care environment navigating cancer care services has become increasingly complex. Despite progress that is made to expand access, there are still gaps in the delivery system. The patient’s knowledge and understanding of their diagnosis...

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month  Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the world and the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Breast cancer can be developed at any point in someone’s life, though the risk increases with age. On average, breast cancer takes the life of an American women every 13 minutes, and another case of breast cancer...

Cancer Registry Reporting Deadlines

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

  When are your Cancer Registry Reporting Deadlines? The job of a cancer registrar is to collect and report data of cancer patients — capturing a full summary of the patient journey, from genealogical history to test results and treatment. This data is stored in hospital and healthcare facility registries and then reported to the central or state cancer registry as...

Cancer Registrar to Cancer Patient

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

  From Cancer Registrar to Cancer  Patient When I graduated from Long Island University, I had earned my bachelor’s degree in Medical Records Administration and Management. Just as every other graduate with a degree, I was thinking I would be a director of HIM right out of the gate. Naturally, that did not happen. My actual first job was as a part-time unit secretary for...

What is a Cancer Registry and Why is it So Important

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry 1 Comment

What is Cancer Registry? Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Americans. In 2019, there was an estimated total of 1,762,450 new cases of cancer in America and an estimated 606,880 deaths. Cancer registries receive and collect data about cancer patients. There are two major types of cancer registries: population-based registries and hospital-based registries....

National Cancer Registrars Association Outsourcing and Perception Survey Report

Maddie Tein NCRA Leave a Comment

The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) has released a 2020 report on their Outsourcing and Perception Survey which was conducted and analyzed by Association Research, Inc. Click HERE to see the survey report in totality.   The study explains in greater detail industry perceptions of cancer registry outsourcing and sheds light on the ramifications of...

The Ultimate List of Cancer Registry Resources for 2021

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry 1 Comment

Working in cancer registry is a tough job. Most hospitals see a diverse patient population. A registrar needs to accurately summarize each cancer patient’s history, diagnosis, treatment, and health status while following mandated guidelines. This requires analyzing and synthesizing information from many different resources. Registrars provide critical data that is used...

Preparing For the Upcoming Cancer Registry Changes: Time Is Short, but Support is Available

Susan Mackenzie Cancer Registry 1 Comment

Preparing For the Upcoming Cancer Registry Changes: Time Is Short, but Support is Available By Susan Mackenzie, MRA For those of us working in the cancer registry profession, you are likely very much aware of the significant changes upon us that will dramatically alter the way we work and how we collect required data for the registry. The upcoming changes are extensive,...

What do all those radiation treatment modality codes mean?

C. Matheson, RHIA, CCS Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

The regional treatment modality fields for radiation therapy can be tricky when deciding on the appropriate code to assign. The regional treatment modality field is used to record the dominant modality of radiation therapy used to deliver the most clinically significant regional dose to the primary volume of interest during the first course of treatment. Codes are...

Bringing Awareness to Kidney Cancer

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Auditing Leave a Comment

March is kidney cancer awareness month. So what is the role of our kidneys? The kidneys are bean shaped organs located on each side of the mid back. The kidneys are retroperitoneal organs that lie behind the peritoneum that lines the abdominal cavity. The main function of the kidneys are to filter the blood and get rid of excess water and waste in the urine. However, did...

Best Practices to Meet Cancer Registry Reporting Deadline

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Best Practices Leave a Comment

Cancer registries are legislatively mandated to collect confidential data on tumor characteristics, monitor cancer trends, aid in epidemiologic research, and collect quality cancer data elements. Abstracting Timeliness and what this means to you: Abstracting timeliness entails the completion of all analytic cases within six months from the date of initial diagnosis must...

Cancer Registrars: When to Report Class of Case 00 vs. 10

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

As a cancer registrar, ask yourself this question: Have you ever been involved in a lengthy discussion about the use of Class of Case 00 vs. 10? Is it frequently difficult to determine which Class of Case is more appropriate?  If you answered “yes” to either or both of these questions, you are not alone. Setting The Cancer Registry Stage   Before we dive more deeply into...

Text Fields And The Cancer Registrar: Telling The Complete Story

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Cancer Registry Data A cancer registry abstract provides a quick glimpse into each patient’s unique story. As part of this abstract, coded data provides specific details about the cancer, such as the disease process or specific treatment that patients undergo in each facility. However, to paint a complete picture, coded data must be supplemented by text. Cancer registrars...

New study suggests registry gaps in follow-up information for certain cancers

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Standards 5.3 and 5.4 of the American College of Surgeons’ (ACoS) Cancer Program Standards 2012, Version 1.2.1: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care require cancer registries to perform follow-up for 80%–90% of analytic cases. This includes recording vital status, cancer status, and date of last contact. Although cancer registry follow-up guidelines exist, these guidelines are...

Colorectal Cancer Awareness

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry CDC Leave a Comment

More than 140,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 50,000 die from the disease annually. What’s worse is that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. More than 90% of colorectal cancers occur in individuals over the age of 50. ...

Understanding the Functions of Different Chemotherapy Agents

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology 1 Comment

Chemotherapy is one of many treatment options for patients with cancer. This form of therapy uses chemical agents (i.e., anti-cancer or cytotoxic drugs) that interact with cancer cells to eradicate or control the growth of cancer. Common alternative forms of treatment include surgery to remove all or a portion of a tumor as well as radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and...

Quality Improvement Meets Oncology

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

Why QOPI Programs Matter Quality Oncology Practice Initiative programs are designed for hematology-oncology physician-based practices. Strictly voluntary, QOPI programs provide a valuable tool to assess current practice standards. QOPI Methods and Measurement Chart abstraction is performed twice a year, spring and fall, and covers a five week period. During this...

Mycosis Fungoides: CS-Ext and CS-SSF1

C. Matheson, RHIA, CCS Cancer Registry 1 Comment

Mycosis fungoides (9700/3), also known as Alibert-Bazin syndrome, is the most common type of primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.  The name Mycosis fungoides loosely means “mushroom-like fungal disease.” It is so named because the skin tumors, particularly of severe cases, have mushroom-like appearance.   However, it is not a fungal infection but rather a type of...

Cancer Registry – Start Your Engines!

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Are you ready to report cancer cases diagnosed in 2014?  Summer brings races. Running races, bike races, boat races, and of course automobile races. While NASCAR and Indy Car drivers start their engines, cancer registries are revving up to report their 2014 cases.   Elizabeth Patena, M.D., CTR VP of Cancer Registry But before you start abstracting and coding cases...

MRA Thought of the Day – Do You Always Have to Code Grade Path Value and Grade Path System?

C. Matheson, RHIA, CCS Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Elizabeth Patena, M.D., CTR VP of Cancer Registry For cases January 1, 2010 and forward, Grade Path Value records the numeric grade reported in the pathology report. It documents the numerator or first number of a tumor grade reported in a two, three, or four grade system. It supplements but does not replace the data item Grade/Differentiation. Grade Path System...

MRA Thought of the Day – When is GIST A Reportable Case?

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) may occur anywhere along the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), as well as in extravisceral locations, which include the omentum, mesentery, pelvis, and retroperitoneum. Typically, they arise from the wall of the GIT and extend inward toward the mucosa, outward toward the serosa, or in both directions. Lesions that...

MRA Thought of the Day- Distal Esophagus vs. EGJ

C. Matheson, RHIA, CCS Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

  Elizabeth R. Patena, M.D., CTR Vice President of Cancer Registry   Distal Esophagus vs. EGJ When do you code the primary site to Distal Esophagus (C15.5) or Esophagogastric Junction (C16.0)? The arbitrary 10 cm segment encompassing the distal 5 cm of the esophagus and proximal 5 cm of the stomach, with the EGJ in the middle, is an area of contention. Cancers arising in...

MRA Thought of the Day – Sentinel Nodes: Breast Cancer Cases

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Elizabeth R. Patena, M.D., CTR Vice President of Cancer Registry For breasts cancer cases, should you count sentinel nodes as ipsilateral axillary nodes for data field CS SSF3 and CS SSF19? Here are my thoughts… Sentinel lymph node: the hypothetical first lymph node or group of nodes draining a cancer. In CS version 1, data field CS SSF3 was called Number of Positive...

MRA Thought of the Day – Do You Have an Action Plan for Implementation of Standard 3.2: Psychosocial Distress Screening?

C. Matheson, RHIA, CCS Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Elizabeth R. Patena, M.D., CTR Vice President of Cancer Registry Although this Standard is to be phased in for 2015, now is the time to prepare an action plan before the implementation in January 2015. What do you, as the Cancer Registrar, need to do to prepare for this Standard? Here are my thoughts… First, include the implementation of this Standard as one of your...

MRA Thought of the Day – What Else is New in 2013?

Charlie Saponaro - CEO Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Elizabeth R. Patena, M.D., CTR Vice President of Cancer Registry Three sets of new data items are added for 2013: Country, Secondary Diagnoses, and Over-rides for CS 1-19. In my last blog (read here) I discussed the new data item Country. Now we will focus on the new items that identify Secondary Diagnoses, and Over-rides for CS 1-19. Secondary Diagnoses: Federal...

MRA Thought of the Day – What’s New in 2013?

Charlie Saponaro - CEO Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Elizabeth R. Patena, M.D., CTR Vice President of Cancer Registry Changes in 2013: What’s new in 2013? Three sets of new data items are added for 2013: Country, Secondary Diagnoses, and Over-rides for CS 1-19. For now, let’s focus on the new items that identify Country. The three new items that identifies country: Address at DX-Country Address Current-Country ...

MRA Thought of the Day – Is Sertoli-Leydig Cell Tumor of the Ovary Reportable?

Charlie Saponaro - CEO Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Situation: Elizabeth R. Patena, M.D., CTR Vice President of Cancer Registry 78 y/o female admitted for vague abdominal pain and increasing abdominal girth. Initial imaging work-up revealed bilateral adnexal masses, right larger than left. No significant pelvic adenopathy. Laparoscopic right salpingo-oophorectomy revealed poorly differentiated Sertoli-Leydig cell...

MRA Thought of the Day – Cytology as Diagnostic Confirmation

Charlie Saponaro - CEO Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Situation: Elizabeth R. Patena, M.D., CTR Vice President of Cancer Registry Cytology is an examination of cells (rather than tissue) including but not limited to: sputum smears, bronchial brushings, bronchial washings, prostatic secretions, breast secretions, gastric fluid, spinal fluid, peritoneal fluid, pleural fluid, urinary sediment, cervical smears, or vaginal...

MRA Thought of the Day – Lymphoid Neoplasm and MPH

Charlie Saponaro - CEO Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Situation: Elizabeth R. Patena, M.D., CTR Vice President of Cancer Registry A patient with a history of Stage IB Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma of the inguinal nodes was originally diagnosed in 2006 s/p chemotherapy and hormone therapy with remission. Now the patient presents at your facility with palpable lymphadenopathy in the right axillary region. An excision...

MRA Thought of the Day – Building A Cancer Program Is Like Building A Tree House

Charlie Saponaro - CEO Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Building a Cancer Program is like building a tree house. Elizabeth R. Patena, M.D., CTR Vice President of Cancer Registry Choose the tree where you want to build a tree house. In your case, you have already selected the tree which is your facility. Begin with a platform. The platform is the key element of any tree house which will provide a secure foundation for the...

MRA Thought of the Day–Growing Your Own Registrars: Tough Times Demand Creative Solutions

Charlie Saponaro - CEO Cancer Registry Leave a Comment

Nancy Hinchliffe, RHIA, CTR, Vice President of Cancer Registry By Nancy Hinchliffe, RHIA, CTR, Vice President of Cancer Registry, MRA According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer between 1990 and 2004. Not only are new cancer cases being identified daily, but patients are surviving longer...

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