One of my volunteers called and said, “You are going to have to register me. I have cancer”.
For someone who works with data and electronic charts all day, coming face to face with a real patient caused me to be both speechless and sad. There are many cancer program consultants who have been diagnosed with cancer and many personally know patients within their registry but we often separate ourselves from the patient by referring to our cases as an accession number. Patient confidentiality is of extreme importance and of course must always be maintained, so using the accession number is appropriate. All of our Consultants also recognize there is a real person behind that number who deserves our respect and dedication to providing quality data. It is the cancer registry data that has influenced changes in cancer treatment over the years. Take a minute to thank your Cancer Registry staff, peers, and friends for all they have done to fight the war on cancer.