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Quality Cancer Data Saves Lives

Where does this information come from?

  • Cancer information on the Internet
  • Cancer information in the newspaper
  • Cancer information on television
  • Cancer information in research
  • Cancer information for treatment planning and delivery

This is information significant to the quality of life of cancer patients, as well as important to research efforts to develop better treatment. This information must come from somewhere.

This presentation concentrates on types of cancer databases; how cancer data is collected; how cancer data is used; who uses the data; and who collects the data. It describes the work that is done by the data collectors and how they become professionally credentialed. This professional certification assures the health care community and the public at large that the criteria necessary for credentialing have been met. This helps to ensure that this critical cancer data is of high quality and can be depended on by health care providers and patients alike. Reliable decisions can be made with the assistance of this cancer data.

Quality Cancer Data Saves Lives (webcast, help)


SEER Summary Stage

The staging of cancer describes how far the cancer has spread. Staging helps epidemiologists and population-based programs find disparities by race and sex; identify risk factors; find disparities in specific populations; and help decide where to devote monies and other resources to develop programs. Staging helps clinicians find the correct treatment for any specific patient.

There are many staging systems. Two that are widely used are the TNM (Tumor, Nodes and Metastasis) System and the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) Summary Stage. The SEER Summary Stage system, from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is used primarily by epidemiologists and population-based programs for the uses described above.

The WCRS (Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System) submits cancer data on a yearly basis to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), NPCR (National Program of Cancer Registries). Since SEER Summary Staging is used by the CDC, the WCRS must collect and report this data to CDC. This webcast will help you better understand the SEER Summary Staging system.

SEER Summary Stage (webcast, help)


Cancer Program Accreditation

For about 50 years, the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons has accredited Cancer Programs. This accreditation designation signifies that a Cancer Program is giving its cancer patients optimum quality care. Most Cancer Programs are located at hospitals, but some freestanding cancer treatment facilities have also attained Cancer Program accreditation.

Since oncology is such a dynamic field, the standards for attaining and maintaining accreditation have changed over the yearsl. The most recent changes will become effective January 2012. There have been some dramatic changes in the standards; therefore, it is important for facilities that are accredited or are seeking accreditation to be familiar with these new standards and eligibility requirements. This webcast will help facilities to become familiar with these standards and requirements.

This webcast is about 2-1/2 hours in length. During the webcast, there is a suggested break. Before viewing the webcast, please download or print (and have handy) the following materials.  A link to the webcast appears below the list of materials.

Cancer Program Accreditation (webcast, help)


Downstream from the Registry: A User's Perspective

This webcast provides information on how registry data are used by researchers, and the problems encountered with untimely or incomplete data. It is meant to be watched as a companion piece to the WCRS 2012 Updates webcast, but can be viewed separately as well. This information was presented at the Wisconsin Cancer Registrars Association annual meeting on October 7, 2011, and recorded on October 17 so all reporters can view the presentation. This presentation can be used to highlight the need for reporting resources; the lack of adequate resources can affect how researchers interpret results from data analysis. Reporters are encouraged to share this presentation with HIM (health information management) managers and other decision makers at facilities.

A link to the webcast appears below the handout slides.

Handout slides (PDF, 1,193 KB)

Downstream from the Registry: A User's Perspective (webcast, help)


Texting:  It's Not Optional Anymore

This webcast presents information on how to text properly while abstracting cancer information. Various examples are given of how not to text, along with how to properly text. In addition to the webcast, a set of "Helpful Hints for Texting" is available below. It would be helpful to print this set of hints and keep it handy while abstracting information about cancer patients. (March 2010)

Helpful Hints for Texting (PDF, 21 KB)

Texting:  It's Not Optional Anymore (webcast, help)


Reporting Hmong Cancer Data to WCRS

Would you like to know more about Hmong culture and cancer disparities, the importance of race and ethnic data, and how facilities systematically collect Hmong cancer data?

Please view this educational video webcast sponsored by the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System, the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, and the Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Associations. (March 2009)

Reporting Hmong Cancer Data (webcast, help)


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Last Revised:  July 02, 2014