As a CTR in our profession of gathering data on patients diagnosed with cancer, it’s important we follow the manuals as written by the standard setters to correctly assign and code the fields we are required to collect. The data we collect and code every day is used by facility administrators, cancer committees, state central registries, NCDB, SEER and researchers with the end goal of improving the cancer care and treatment patients face every day when being diagnosed with cancer. When entering the data we collect, we want to make sure what we’ve coded is accurate and useful to those who review and use our data.
The February 2023 CTR Coding Break titled ‘Prostate Abstracting – AJCC cT, SEER Summary and SEER EOD Primary Tumor talks a little about the correct assignment of AJCC clinical T and coding correctly SEER Summary and SEER EOD fields based on the performance of a DRE exam having been done or not. Having a DRE performed and documented for a patient with prostate adenocarcinoma remains the gold standard. Until the standard setters instruct us otherwise this is the information we should be looking for and coding accordingly.