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Debunking Myths as a Cancer Registry Partner
Cancer Registry Partner

By Allison Raskin, CTR, cancer information specialist for CHAMPS Oncology

At CHAMPS Oncology, one of our defining characteristics is our role as a cancer registry partner with each of the clients we serve. We’ve redefined the traditional relationship between the cancer registry and the cancer program by keeping our clients as informed as possible about the cancer registry services we provide.

It is our hope, that by becoming a cancer registry partner, we are debunking some common myths about a cancer program’s relationship with the cancer registry. Let me illustrate this better with a few examples from actual conversations I have been a part of…

Myths About the Cancer Program / Cancer Registry Relationship

  • “Cancer registry work is only data entry.”
    FALSE! We are highly trained professionals certified to accurately identify and thoroughly report on cancer diagnosed and/or treated by cancer programs. Cancer registry work plays an integral role in cancer research and statistical reporting.

  • “Why are we short staffed? We could just grab anyone off the street to do this job.”
    FALSE! CTRs must sit for a certification exam and are required to complete continuing education every year. This guarantees accuracy and reliability of the cancer registry data utilized by cancer programs.

  • “The cancer registry collects very limited information.”
    FALSE! Although there are slight variances of data requirements across different states or national organizations, cancer registry standard setters ensure the cancer registry accurately captures all aspects of cancer diagnosed and/or treated by cancer programs.

  • “The cancer registry can only provide me a list of names. I’ll have to look up the information I need in the EMR to then build a detailed database for my study.
    FALSE! There are hundreds of data fields the cancer registry is required to collect including demographics, diagnosis, staging, treatment, outcomes, etc. Most likely, any information needed for a study can be obtained directly from information already collected by the cancer registry. Rather than reinvent the wheel, study information can be obtained directly from the cancer registry, which saves time and money.

  • “The cancer registry is only revenue draining.”
    FALSE! By using tools like insight2oncology®, cancer registry data can be analyzed and quantified to provide significant insight about a facility. Information directly from the cancer registry has been used in the past to help determine how to increase revenue or better focus efforts to maximize reach in the community (e.g., track migration patterns, identify trends).

As your cancer registry partner, we know we are an untapped resource of quality cancer data. It is our responsibility to communicate better with our clients regarding how the cancer registry can partner with them to achieve their goals. By building this relationship and cultivating a strong partnership, we increase our value to clients and play a more effective part in cancer research.

What myths have you heard about the cancer registry?

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