April 5, 2021
April 2021
Vol 10 Issue 1
From the Editor
Happy Spring and Happy National Cancer Registrars Week! This year's theme: Cancer Registrars: The Driving Force of Cancer Data is quite fitting and captures the importance of the work our registrars do whether it's in the hospital registry setting, or as an independent registrar reporting for multiple facilities, or in the regional registry. The work each of you does is vital!

To start off this edition, Winny provides results of some of the CRGC Data Quality team's work on our data submission preparation process. In this article, she describes a recent data query looking at patients with a Gender code of 3 - Intersexed (persons with sex chromosome abnormalities). I think you'll find the results interesting and it will remind you of some important abstracting tips. 

Anshu Shrestha, Research Scientist III, and Rosemary Cress, Research Program Director and our SEER PI, share their thoughts on working with the registry community.

We hope you find these articles interesting and informative. We appreciate the efforts of each of you in providing accurate, complete and timely cancer data. Thank you!

Happy National Cancer Registrars Week! Stay healthy and safe.

Data Quality Corner
Winny Roshala, BA, CTR
Director, CRGC Data Quality Control and Facility Reporting Compliance Officer 

Congratulations to all registrars on celebrating National Cancer Registrars Week (NCRW)! The theme this year is Cancer Registrars: The Driving Force of Cancer Data. What an appropriate theme, given the events of the past year! The Spring season always brings new hope and signs of a brighter future. This is even more so this year. With the impact of the pandemic on patients, reporting facilities and central registries, we have all learned to adjust, while still meeting our respective cancer reporting requirements. It has indeed been quite a journey!

As I indicated in the November issue of Chats, CRGC submitted a data file with a 2018 case completeness rate of 99.25% to the National Cancer Institute’s SEER Program! This is absolutely phenomenal, given all the challenges and impacting the reporting of 2018 cases! As an FYI, the CRGC data file submitted to SEER in November of 2020 consisted of over 109,000 consolidated cases! Yes, every case counts! Once again, this demonstrates the commitment and resilience of cancer registrars, even amidst a pandemic! 

We have since moved on to working towards achieving the SEER goal of 98% completeness for 2019 cases for the 2021 November data submission. Many of you have already submitted your 2019 Completeness forms and have moved on to abstracting 2020 cases. Please continue to do so. No data changes will take place until 2021, therefore please continue to abstract all pre-2021 cases with your current software. 

The CRGC Data Quality team continues to run data queries as part of our data submission preparation process. Here is a recent data query looking at patients with a Gender code of 3 – Intersexed (persons with sex chromosome abnormalities). 
In Appreciation of Registrars
Anshu Shrestha, PhD, MPH, CRGC Research Scientist III
Rosemary D. Cress, DrPH, CRGC Research Program Director and SEER PI

The data, collected, abstracted and vetted by registrars form the basis of all the research activities in the Cancer Registry of Greater California (CRGC)’s Research Unit (RU). Whether it is to understand and track cancer occurrences and survival in the community, identify vulnerable subgroups, or identify an eligible sample to conduct more in-depth research studies to improve understanding of cancer risks and prognostic factors, the registry data are valuable. This is because the registry data are high quality and represent its catchment areas well, making this a reliable source for cancer research. Lots of hard work and persistence from registrars go into creating good quality data. For this, we are deeply grateful! The extra effort put into ensuring accurate and complete information on not only cancer diagnosis and treatments received but also on patient characteristics such as age, sex, race/ethnicity makes this a rich resource for cancer research. We are currently using this data to study disparities in initial treatments received and survival among patients diagnosed with early stage bladder cancer. We also use the registry data in selecting eligible sample and assessing role of neighborhood stressors in the ongoing RESPOND Study, a prostate cancer study in African American men. 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought many disruptions to our lives and work this past year. Unfortunately, medical care facilities and laboratories have perhaps been hit even harder than many others. This has also undoubtedly impacted cancer patients, and reliable data on this topic will be extremely useful in assessing the impact of COVID-19 on diagnosis, treatment and survival. Fortunately, the registrars are already collecting data on COVID-19 infections among cancer patients and its impact on their treatment for cases diagnosed in 2020-2021. In coming years, this data will be highly sought after by many researchers who will be trying to understand those connections. The RU just submitted a grant proposal in collaboration with another Public Health Institute researcher to study short and long-term effects of COVID-19 on cancer patients. This study, if funded, will use the new data to identify cancer patients who were or were not infected with SARS-CoV-2. This would allow us to establish a cohort for additional data collection and conduct investigations that bring more understanding of the recovery process in patients with acute infection as well as those who develop post-infection symptoms. The extra efforts registrars are putting in collecting and vetting the COVID-19 data are much appreciated! The pandemic may have impacted cancer patients at many levels, from delays in seeking care to having poorer treatment outcomes due to infection. Without this data, we would be unable to fathom the true impacts of the pandemic in this population.                 
If you have questions or concerns regarding any of the content of this CRGC communication please contact me.

Mignon Dryden, CTR
Director, E-Reporting
Cancer Registry of Greater California