Recap – Alabama Cancer Registrars Association Annual Educational Conference – Donna Renaue, CTR


Marketing Manager

Alabama Cancer Registrars Association

Annual Educational Conference

“Putting the Pieces Together”

October 5 – 6, 2017

Submitted by:  Donna Renaue, CTR – I was honored to represent Registry Partners at the Alabama Cancer Registrars Association (ACRA) Annaual Education Conference October 5 – 6, 2017.  It was a pleasure to meet and network with fellow registrars from Alabama.  

A highlight of the conference was hearing from Dr. Frederick Greene who presented the hot topic of “AJCC 8th Edition Changes”.  If you have ever had the opportunity to hear Dr. Greene speak at a conference, you know how much he supports cancer registrars. A few items Dr. Greene highlighted during his lecture included:  

  • Staging forms are not included in the 8th edition and can be downloaded if needed.
  • The AJCC Atlas is built into the new edition.
  • Lobular Carcinoma In-Situ (LCIS) of the Breast is removed from pTis category. LCIS is a benign entity and is removed from TNM staging. NOTE: It should still be reported
  • Thyroid cancer – the age at diagnosis cutoff, used for staging, was increased from 45 to 55 years.
  • New chapters added for Parathyroid, Leukemia and multiple soft tissue sites.

Cynthia Boudreaux also shared a presentation on the CoC Standards and AJCC staging.  She focused on standards from Chapter Three which have proven to be the most difficult standards to meet compliance ratings.  Cynthia discussed in detail what is required for each standard and gave examples of implementation.  Cynthia presented a second lecture on AJCC Staging titled “TNM: To Blank or Not to Blank” reviewing the use of blanks when assigning TNM staging.  Blank is to be used when you do not have the information needed to assign the stage. An example she used was:  Prostate Cancer – patient only had a biopsy, no prostatectomy was performed. In this example, the TNM would be blank and the Stage Group would be 99. The “X” designation in staging is only used if the staging criteria is met but there is not enough information available to assign the appropriate category.

Several other physicians presented on new advances in treatment for breast cancer and genetic testing.

The focus of various fall meetings have centered around the changes we will all experience in 2018.  Several manuals will be updated, new fields will be added and the FORDS manual will be revised and given a new name.  

Overall the Alabama annual conference was a huge success.  Registry Partners raffled two Visa Gift Cards throughout the conference and would like to Congratulate the lucky winners: Priscilla Foster (pictured above) and Colton Brown (not pictured). Congratulations to Priscilla and Colton!