Recap – Arkansas Cancer Registrars Association Annual Conference “Survivor: Outstage, Outcode, Out-abstract”


Marketing Manager

Beth Verrette, RHIA, CTR – Staffing and Project Implementation Director for the Registry Partners Oncology Division served as our vendor rep at the Arkansas Cancer Registrars Association Annual Conference, April 25th through 27th at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science in Little Rock.   

Beth had the opportunity to attend several of the educational sessions at this year’s conference and shared a summary from one of the presentations titled “Head and Neck Cancer Staging – AJCC 8th Edition” presented by Louanne Currence which provided a wealth of helpful information and tips as outlined below:

  • Several new head & neck chapters were added/revised in the AJCC 8th edition manual including:
    • Chapter 6 – Cervical Lymph Node and Unknown Primary
    • Chapter 7 – Lip and Oral Cavity
    • Chapter 9, Chapter 10 and Chapter 11 – Pharynx was further divided into 3 sections which now includes Nasopharynx (Chapter 9); HPV Positive Oropharyngeal (Chapter 10); and HPV Negative Oropharynx and Hypopharynx (Chapter 11)
  • In regards to regional lymph node involvement, be sure to note the size of the lymph nodes. If the lymph node is noted to be in the midline, this would be considered the ipsilateral side.
  • Clinical Extranodal Extension (ENE) vs. Pathological (Extranodal Extension) ENE:
    • Clinical ENE (extranodal extension) cannot be defined by radiology alone.
  • Pathological ENE can be defined as beyond the confines of the lymph node, through the lymph node capsule into the surrounding connective tissue, with or without associated stromal reaction.
  • An exclusion to the typical AJCC staging rules applies only to Chapters 7, 8, and 11.
  • If there is a lymph node dissection without the primary tumor resection, you may still assign the T & N values. For example, you would enter pTX pN_.
  • Depth of Invasion (DOI) is not the same as tumor thickness. Doctor’s may have to estimate the DOI clinically in order to assign the cT field.
  • Patients with head & neck cancers live longer with the HPV virus. You may only use Chapter 10 if you have a positive HPV test.

Additionally, Registry Partners raffled off a Visa Gift Card at the conference and we would like to Congratulate Donna Laster as the lucky winner!  Congratulations Donna!

Donna Laster