Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System - Cancer Reporters - Announcements and Materials

This site provides resources for those reporting cancer cases to the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System. You can select a link below to find the various resources available here for cancer reporters, or use the links in the sidebar on any page in the WCRS Cancer Reporters site.


The Wisconsin-Specific Abstract Plus Version 16 software is now available for download

The software is available in two formats:

  1. Full application version for first-time Abstract Plus users – which means an earlier version of Abstract Plus is not already installed on the computer.
  2. Update Tool Version – for Abstract Plus users that currently have Abstract Plus 3.5 installed on their computers. (Please check your version! If your version is earlier than 3.5 (3.2 or 3.4), then contact WCRS for special instructions. Do NOT update to 3.6 unless you have 3.5 installed currently.)

Here are the instructions for downloading this version of Abstract Plus. Please make sure you read these instructions very carefully! It is extremely important that you make sure you choose the correct format.

Step 1 – Where to Obtain Version 3.6

The Wisconsin-specific Abstract Plus 3.6 is available for download at this CDC FTP site.

After clicking on the site – you will see this header at the top of the web page:

Ap introduction  screenshot

Step 2 – Obtaining the Instructions for Install or Upgrade

If you are installing Abstract Plus for the first time on a computer, click on the link below the header: “Instruction manual for installing Abstract Plus from scratch” to download the instructions for first time installation (pictured below).

If you are upgrading from 3.5 Abstract Plus to 3.6, click on the link below the header: “Instruction manual for upgrading existing Abstract Plus from Version 3.5 to Version 3.6 with NAACCR 16.0” to download the instructions for upgrading from 3.5 to 3.6 (pictured below).

Download instructions screenshot

Step 3 – Downloading the Installation Package or Updater Tool

Once you have the appropriate instructions downloaded, scroll down to the bottom of the CDC web page until you see the specific install box for the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System (pictured below). Click on the "…from scratch" install package link for first time installs or the "Ugrading existing..." update tool link for upgrading from version 3.5 to 3.6.

Ap introduction  screenshot

Step 4 – Read the instruction packet completely before installing Abstract Plus or applying the upgrade

Please contact Laura Stephenson (phone: 608-266-8926, email: laura.stephenson@dhs.wisconsin.gov) if you have any questions. Please note that you must have administrative privileges to your computer to install or upgrade Abstract Plus. Contact your system administrator to install/upgrade the program if you do not have administrative privileges.

Separate Instructions for Facilities that Downloaded the CDC Generic Version 3.6 in 2016

Some facilities may have mistakenly installed CDC’s generic version of Abstract Plus 3.6 months ago. This version is not suitable for reporting cases to WCRS and does not meet Wisconsin’s requirements for reporting. If your facility has a generic version of Abstract Plus 3.6, you MUST do the following to install the Wisconsin-specific version:

  • If you have abstracted cases in this version, then you need to first export all of the abstracts (complete and incomplete) into a NAACCR flat file, using the NAACCR Format option in the export window, and save this export file to a location other than where your Abstract Plus is stored. (For example, if it’s stored under C:\RegPlus\AbstractPlus, then store your file to another drive you have access to. Keep it in safe place.)

To export all cases, open the export window in Abstract Plus and click on the selections as numbered in this screen shot:

Export Screenshot

  1. When you click Export (number 3 above), you will be prompted to put in the Administrator Log In password, type in Admin
  2. Name your file FullExportGenericV16.txt and save it to a location outside the default for Abstract Plus.
  3. Close Abstract Plus.
  4. Uninstall Abstract Plus.
  5. Go back to the file location where Abstract Plus was installed and make sure the AbstractPlus folder is deleted.
  6. Install the WI specific Abstract Plus 3.6 following the first time install instructions in this email.
  7. Import the exported file from your previous version of Abstract Plus by clicking on the File tab, then the Import Abstracts in NAACCR Format option. Open up your cases to check for possible new errors based on the WI edit metafile. Correct cases and resubmit to WCRS if corrections were made.

Important Notes Regarding Version 3.6 – Please Read!!

  1. Abstract Plus 3.6 is required for cases diagnosed in 2016 and later. It can also be used to abstract cases from 2015 and earlier.
  2. The Version 3.6 Abstract Plus user manual is now available.
  3. The display screen data item order is slightly different; please watch for those changes if you are a regular Abstract Plus user. WCRS also renamed most of the data item names to make them easier to identify.
  4. For facilities that have entered 2016 cases in version 3.5, please note that after you upgrade to 3.6, you will need to open up your 2016 cases and complete each abstract. There are new fields (see Required Data Item List for 2016-2017 cases) for 2016 cases and those were not available to you in 3.5. Once completed, you can now export your 2016 cases and submit to WCRS. Please remember that WCRS is not assessing timeliness of 2016 cases due to the delays in software readiness.

Wisconsin Meets the Highest National Data Quality for Cancer Registry

NAACCR 2013 Gold Certification

2015 Registry of Excellence

The Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System has been recognized by U.S. CDC's National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) as a Registry of Excellence for 2015.

Wisconsin is one of 22 states to achieve this designation, which reflects the submission of high quality data for cancer prevention and control activities. The data met all of NPCR's standards for data completeness and quality.

In addition, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries has recognized the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System for meeting its Gold Standard for the 2013 submission. Cancer registries that meet the Gold Standard for Registry Certification have achieved the highest NAACCR standard for complete, accurate, and timely data to calculate standard incidence statistics for the year reviewed.


Reminder: 2016 Cancer Cases Are Due As Soon As Possible

  • Cases diagnosed in 2016 are technically due by July 1, 2017. For facilities that converted to V16 software last year, WCRS encourages you to submit your 2016 cases as timely as possible to meet this deadline.
  • Abstract Plus users should have all 2016 cases submitted to WCRS by October 15, 2017. Due to the delay in releasing 2016 software specific to Wisconsin Abstract Plus users, WCRS is allowing additional time for Abstract Plus users to convert their software and complete their 2016 cases.
  • Cases diagnosed before 2016 are past due and should be submitted immediately.

In order to monitor your facility's compliance, it is important to notify WCRS if your facility:

  • Has had a significant increase or decrease in your cancer caseload;
  • Has begun reporting for another facility (clinic/physician office or hospital);
  • Has stopped reporting for another facility (clinic/physician office or hospital); or
  • Expects a delay in cancer reporting at any time.

WCRS has a list of contract abstracting services that can be used to help facilities with backlogs in reporting. Please contact us to obtain the list.

Please note: WCRS will NOT be assessing timeliness on 2016 cases due to the State and National delays in edit set and software application roll outs.


Training Webcasts on AJCC TNM and SEER Summary Stage Reporting Requirements

The transition from Collaborative Stage to directly assigned clinical and pathological Tumor, Nodes, Metastases (TNM) staging and (SEER) Summary Stage has begun. Both the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) provide free online training. For those reporters who are new to cancer registry work and reporters who need a refresher, this is a great opportunity to receiving training on AJCC TNM coding and SEER Summary Stage.

While WCRS never stopped requiring SEER Summary Stage, most registries around the country did not require this for 2004-2014 diagnoses. These training sessions also provide an excellent refresher and updated codes and instructions since the publication of the 2001 red book (which should no longer be used).

The training webcasts are posted on the NCRA website: TNM/SEER Summary Stage Requirements webcasts from NCRA and the AJCC Curriculum for Cancer Registrars website.


WCRS V15 Edits Program

WCRS has updated its stand-alone GenEDITS program to run the Wisconsin-specific Version 15 edits against files ready to submit to WCRS. This tool should be used by facilities not abstracting cases with Abstract Plus (the same edits are already built into Abstract Plus). The GenEDITS tool provides summary and detailed error reports, allowing the user to fix all edits before submitting the file to the State. This Zip file (Zip, 4.0 MB) contains the user manual (with instructions for downloading and installing the updated software) and the software application file (setup-geplus4-wi15.exe).


Certified Tumor Registrar Education Program

In its second year, the Cancer Information Management education program at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College continues to provide specialized training for Certified Tumor Registrar certification. Please visit the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College website for details about Fall 2016 registration for the Cancer Information Management education program.

Last Revised: April 17, 2017