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September 2014

    Vol 3 Issue 3 

From the Editor 


While Summer 2014 was a record breaking year with those that keep heat index records, the CRGC staff was creating a production record in processing and finalizing cases for the November data submission for 2012 cases. Those individuals with Region 2 and Region 6 regional registry experience, shared their knowledge and procedures with existing staff. New staff had a shortened introduction to central cancer registry work. The collegial focus and "let's get it done" attitude along with the timely submission of high quality data from the CRGC cancer registrars are key elements in making for a successful SEER data submission. After re-examining the work effort and work assignments additional staff joined the CRGC; they are introduced in New CRGC Central Staff.


Also in this issue, Rosemary Cress, Dr. P.H, describes a mapping project that used Medical Service Study Area's (MSSA), to identify geographic and demographic predictors of advanced stage cervical cancer in California in Cervical Cancer Mapping Project.


The article, What the Chronic and Acute? by Jennifer Ruhl,

MSHCA, RHIT, CCS, CTR of the SEER Program, was written for the NAACCR Narrative Summer 2014 issue and Jennifer kindly provided it for this issue of Chats. In this article, Jennifer describes how the chronic and acute phase of the hematopoietic malignancies may have changed the data collected since the implementation of the 2010 Hematopoietic and Lymphoid Neoplasm MP/H rules.  


After numerous issues of the The Criterion when the Public Health Institute held the contract for the California Cancer Registry, and nine issues of Chats, this issue is my last as editor. I am taking on new responsibilities as the CRGC Facilities Compliance and Contract Officer. As the new Epath/Education and Training Coordinator, Mignon Dryden, CTR will take over as editor. I have no doubt that Chats will move to the next level in the incomparable hands of Mignon!  



Cervical Cancer Mapping Project 

Rosemary Cress, Dr. PH, Co-Principal Investigator, CRGC 


Although cancer of the cervix can largely be prevented through vaccination and screening, the CCR estimates that approximately 1,400 California women will be diagnosed in 2014 and 400 women will die from the disease; suggesting that many women are not receiving the health care they need. This topic was of particular interest to a UC Davis graduate student, Fran Maguire, who has been working with the CRGC as part of her required public health practicum project. Fran wanted to identify geographic and demographic predictors of advanced stage cervical cancer in California.   


To continue this article click here. 


About a year ago I received a request to come speak at the annual CRANE (Cancer Registrars Association of New England) meeting. I had spoken there before and was delighted to be asked to return. The topic? Hematopoietic. I had one hour. Now, if you know anything about the Hematopoietic rules, speaking on it for only one hour can present quite a challenge. Where do you start? What do you focus on? What is the biggest bang for your buck (or for an hour)?

New CRGC Central Staff 

Mignon Dryden - Epath/Education and Training Coordinator


We are so pleased that Mignon Dryden is joining CRGC as our ePath and Education Coordinator. Mignon Dryden was previously the Director of the Cancer Registries of Central and Northern California, a position she held since 2005 when she began as Director of the registry in Central California. Mignon had been the Director of the Cancer Registry of Northern California since its inception in 1989. Prior to that Mignon was a Quality Control Specialist at the California Cancer Registry performing registrar training and conducting quality control audits statewide. 


Before that she worked at the University of California, San Francisco Cancer Patient Data Program - Research and Training. This program held SEER contracts for both a two week training program for registry personnel three times a year and for a Quality Control Program of the SEER registries. In addition, Mignon, along with several other staff was responsible for abstracting all of the cancer cases seen at the University of San Francisco Medical Center.  She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton and a Teaching Credential from California State University, San Bernardino. She has been an active member in numerous Cancer Registry or Registrar associations specifically in the role of Education Chair.


We are certain that Mignon will provide a critical guiding hand to CRGC as ePath grows and evolves in California. She will also provide strong direction for both CRGC employees and external stakeholders for their education and training needs.  Mignon loves beagles and enjoys spending time with her family in Chico, California.  Be sure to drop her a line to say "hi".



 Breanna Bingham - Data Collection Specialist 


Breanna is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona, Tucson with a Bachelor's of Science in Public Health. Her concentration was in Environmental and Occupational Health and Health Behaviors. Breanna also has interned at the American Red Cross where she has instructed CPR/AED and First Aid courses, planned, conducted and monitored certification courses, and evaluated the efficacy of teaching and course components. While in college, Breanna volunteered at the Arizona Cancer Center where she was exposed to the care and treatment of cancer patients. Breanna joins the CRGC to begin her career in public health.


Tony Rocha - Data Collection Specialist  


Tony comes to the CRGC from Region 6 offices where he has been a fixture for over 12 years, where he was the systems administrator for both Region 2 and Region 6. Tony has been involved with many projects including acting as the project lead for the first Regional Registry to implement Eureka Direct Access (upload) for hospital users, he was also on the CCR workgroup that developed Eureka Direct Access procedures, and he has been responsible for CNExT support activities, as well as routine office IT support and administration. Tony has years of exposure to the Cancer Registry profession and has long desired to make the transition to cancer data collection and hopes to someday make the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) status.


Please join us in welcoming our newest members of the CRGC team!  
Desert Sierra Cancer Surveillance Program-Region 5 Update
Becky Cassady, RHIA, CTR, Regional Director, DSCSP

Leimomi Song, CTR, Data Collection Specialist, passed her CTR Exam in July 2014.  Hurray Leimomi!   Dr. John Morgan, Cancer Epidemiologist, Regions 4 and 5 presented two posters using CCR data at the World Epidemiology Congress meeting in Anchorage, Alaska August 16-20, 2014.  The posters were: "Epidemiology Assessment of Quality Gastric Cancer Surgery" and "Understanding the Barriers for Delayed Stage Cervical Cancer."  He also participated in a panel discussion regarding teaching methods for public health students.  We are happy to report that ten hospitals in Region 5 achieved the 97% Semi-Annual Timeliness Standard for the January-June 2014 reporting period.

Congratulations to New CRGC Cancer Registrars!

The following CRGC individuals successfully passed the Spring 2014 CTR Exam:

Joanna Akers, Palm Desert
Cheryl Lynn Brady, Garden Grove

Save the Date!


The Massachusetts Cancer Registry/Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center Fall Educational Workshop will be held on Monday December 8, 2014. This educational opportunity is free of charge and will be webcast.


Click here for details.



New Drug Approved

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on September 4, 2014 granted accelerated approval to Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for treatment of patients with advanced or unresectable melanoma who are no longer responding to other drugs.


Cancer Registrar Feedback
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for Chats contact Mignon Dryden at .
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Cancer Registry of Greater California
Public Health Institute
1825 Bell Street, Suite 102
Sacramento, California 95825