Recap of the NYCRA/PACR Regional Education Conference – Theresa Real


Marketing Manager

Recap of the NYCRA/PACR Regional Education Conference

October 4 – 6, 2017

Utica, New York

Submitted by: Theresa Real, RHIT, CTR – I was proud to represent Registry Partners at the New York Cancer Registrars Association * Pennsylvania Association of Cancer Registrars Regional Educational Conference this year in Utica, NY.  It was a very well organized and well-run conference and I enjoyed meeting new colleagues as well as listening to the great speakers.

Some highlights from the conference include Colleen Sherman, MS, RHIA, CTR, of the New York State Cancer Registry who presented “NYSCR Updates” including some common coding and abstracting errors.  She reminded the audience that the proper topography code for a meningioma is C700 when the tumor arises in the cerebral meninges, not C709 or a brain topography code C710-C719.  She highlighted the fact that pathologic N is assigned pNx not cN0 when lymph nodes are not removed at the time of surgery (except for those sites with exceptions).

Ms. Sherman also reviewed some of the upcoming 2018 changes and beyond including AJCC 8th Edition, SEER Summary Stage 2018, Site Specific Factors which are going away and will  to be replaced by Site Specific Data Items, the MP/H Manual will be referred to as Solid Tumor Manual and the Hematopoietic Database will also be updated.  She also expressed that Thymoma will default to a behavior code of 3 and, interestingly, the New York State Registry will require EOD (extent of disease) staging beginning with new diagnosis 01/01/18.

Ajay Jain, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery & Director of Surgical Oncology, gave an interesting presentation on the reason that Cancer Staging Matters”.  In brief, TNM is a universal language that the physicians & clinicians share, and by staging and following evidence-based guidelines we are ensuring the patients are receiving the highest standard of care.

Kevin Matthew, MD of the Palliative Care and Integrative Medicine Program, Mohawk Valley Health System, presented “Integration of Palliative Care Services within a Community Cancer Care Program (CCCP)” and started his presentation by thanking all of the attending CTRs for their hard work because the data that CTRs collect ultimately leads to improving a patient’s quality of life.  He went on to explain that palliative care should be introduced much earlier into a patient’s treatment plan and that accepting palliative care does not mean that the patient has given up and is waiting to die, but rather it can greatly improve their quality of life.

Chris Riddle, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, discussed “Policy, Morality and Cancer in Assisted Dying” and provided a very thought-provoking presentation on assisted dying and shared studies performed in Belgium and the Netherlands as well as statistics from the US where assisted dying is legal, i.e. Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Shana Pughe from the Mohawak Valley Center for Refugees presented “Navigating the Refugee Population through the Cancer Care System”, provided the audience with some insight into the health care needs of refugees and immigrants including culture, religion, family and language differences.

Eric Bravin, MD, Hematology/Oncology Bassett Healthcare provided some encouraging information regarding prognosis for Stage III and Stage IV melanoma with the many new agents being introduced including targeted therapies and immunotherapies.  Dr. Bravin reminded the audience that the best way to treat melanoma is through prevention.

Kathleen Thoburn, CTR, Manager National Cancer Database provided an overview of Standard 5.2 – Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) as well as Standards 5.5 & 5.6 – NCDB Call for Data and Data Accuracy.  The changes planned for concurrent abstracting includes the concurrent abstracting of all primary sites with a gradual transition to take place over 10 years’ time.  NCDB will transition from a once yearly call for data to monthly reporting by 2020 with the two separate data submissions (NCDB & RQRS) merging into one, RCRS – Rapid Cancer Reporting System

Ms. Thoburn also highlighted 2018 CoC (Commission on Cancer) changes which include the new reporting manual – Standards for Oncology Registry Entry (STORE).  There will be new follow-up data items and the sentinel lymph node data items will be expanded.  There will also be many new radiation therapy data items.  Instead of collecting just modality and boost, the data items will be collected from 3 phases of treatment.

Registry Partners raffled two Visa Gift Cards during the conference. Congratulations to Sharon Chatham, CTR from Jacobi Medical Center (Left) and Wendy Stoklosa, RHIT, CTR from Kaleida Health (Right).