July 2015

    Vol 4 Issue 2

From the Editor 


Happy Summer! We hope you all have had a chance to spend some quality time with family and friends during this season of the year that brings us longer days and considerably warmer weather.


CRGC staff have been busy working on a variety of projects and we wanted to share the fruits of their labor with you. CRGC was notified that we received the GOLD STANDARD from NAACCR (North American Association of Central Cancer Registries). Dr. West shares this great news with us in an article that describes what it takes to attain Gold. We truly could not have acheived this status without the hard work of each one of you - so thank you for all of your efforts!


In this issue Taina Valone talks about male breast cancer, a topic that we don't hear a lot about, and shares some surprising findings in our data as well as some abstracting tips.


Scott Riddle has an interesting and helpful article on naming files such as those that you have ready for transmit to the regional registry. Did you know that the California Cancer Registry (CCR) has a standard on file names?


Last, but certainly not least, we have one of our epidemiologists, Danielle Ewing, sharing trends in early stage hepatocellular cancer in California. Danielle, who may be new to some of you, gives a little background about herself and some of her activities for CRGC.


We hope you enjoy these articles as well as the rest of your summer! And as always, thank you for the work you do on a daily basis to identify and collect complete, accurate, and timely cancer data. We couldn't do what we do without you!


CRGC Achieves Gold Certification!

Dee West, PhD

Executive Director/Principle Investigator of CRGC


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.  The assessment is repeated annually.  To achieve Gold Certification, the data from a cancer registry must meet all of the following criteria:

  • 95% or higher in case completeness.
  • 3% or less of cases are identified only by a death certificate.
  • 0.1% or less of case reports are duplicates.
  • 100% of variables used to create incidence statistics by cancer type, sex, race, age, and county are error-free.
  • 2% or less of case reports in the file are missing information on age, sex, and county.
  • 3% or less of cases are missing information on race.
  • File submitted for evaluation is within 23 months of the close of the diagnosis year under review.

To continue this article click here

Blue in a Pink World

Quality Control Specialist, CRGC 

Women don't get "female breast cancer" and yet we say men get "male breast cancer".  Bottom line is it is breast cancer.  The fact that male breast cancer is a rare occurrence is where things get more interesting, and it becomes even more important that our registry counts are accurate.  An article in NCRA's Journal of Registry Management, 2014 Volume 41, Number 3, titled "Misclassification of Sex in Central Cancer Registries", discusses identifying miscoded sex on gender-skewed sites like male breast cancer with the application of an intra-record edit on site-sex combinations. The New York State Cancer Registry developed an edit that looked at first name and sex, using data on the most popular names by gender maintained by the Social Security Administration.  The Florida Statewide Cancer Registry applied the edit to their data and then reviewed their breast cancer cases and found a number of male breast cancers were miscoded as females.  They identified these types of cases as "fake males". CRGC decided to take a gander at our gender to see how we fared when it came to our male breast cases.  We were rather surprised to see that we also had our own fake males---females that were miscoded to males with breast cancer!


What's In a (file) Name? 
Scott Riddle

Systems Support Manager, CRGC


The California Cancer Registry (CCR) has a standard on file names that you may, or may not, be aware of. This file naming definition is currently defined in Section II.4 in the California Cancer Reporting System Standards Volume II.


The standard is defined as follows:

  • A file will start with a 3 character case file suffix.
  • Plus the year showing the year the file was created.
  • Plus the three digit day of the year (001-366) showing the day of the year the file was created.
  • Plus a single letter (A-Z) sequence, beginning with A, for files created on the same day.

To continue this article click here


Trends in Early Stage Hepatocellular Carcinoma, California 1988-2010

Danielle Ewing, MPH

CRGC Epidemiologist, Regions 2, 3, and 6


For those I have not met, I thought I would give a little background about who I am. It has been over a year since I have been a part of CRGC and this November will mark year one of being the regional epidemiologist for regions 3 and 6, and now region 2 as well. I am also currently pursuing a PhD in Epidemiology from UC Davis. I have to say that my time here at CRGC has been better than I could ever expect. It has been a privilege working with the community, the amazing data we collect, and most importantly the individuals that are a part of CRGC. My job would not be possible without each and every one in this organization. Part of my job is to respond to community cancer concerns, provide data to outside researchers, and manage outside research projects, but the other part of my job is conducting internal collaborative research projects where I get to work with the data. The most recent project I've been working on, along with Rosemary Cress, DrPH and Cara Torruellas, MD, MPH (UC Davis), is on early stage hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common form of liver cancer. 

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