April 3, 2023
April 2023
Vol 12 Issue 1
From the Editor

Happy National Cancer Registrar's Week! This year's theme: Harvesters of Data to Nurture Cancer Research exemplifies the importance of the work that each of you do and how it all contributes to cancer research and ultimately benefit cancer patients. We dedicate this special edition of CHATs as a way to honor and express our appreciation of the hard work you do!

Dr. Alain Monnereau, Principal Investigator and Research Program Director, shares his thoughts on the importance of the work cancer registrars perform in the different roles they play in cancer surveillance.

Judy Vang, Senior Director of Operations, shares her appreciation for the important role you each play in capturing the data.

In Data Quality Corner, Winny Roshala, Director, Quality Control and Reporting Facility Compliance Officer, shares her views on the special qualities that it takes to do the work you each do and how it contributes to each cancer patient's story and ultimately to cancer surveillance.

Kyle Ziegler adds his thoughts on being Harvesters of Data and shares how a cancer registrar's daily work has become more complex over time.

We hope you realize how important each of you are to the success of our registry and how the data we all collect and process will help improve cancer prevention and treatment. We all appreciate the efforts of each of you in providing accurate, complete and timely cancer data. Thank you to all cancer registrars for the painstaking work you do to ultimately benefit the cancer patient. Happy National Cancer Registrar's Week!

Welcome to the 2023’s National Cancer Registrars Week!
Dr. Alain Monnereau, MD, PhD
PI, Research Program Director
Cancer Registry of Greater California

This year, the theme is "Harvesters of Data to Nurture Cancer Research". This theme represents a nice analogy between collecting information and picking fruit to feed research or your family. Cancer research at the population level is rooted in the crucial and precise dataset of information describing the new cancer cases, tumor histology and extension of the disease. The role of the CTR serves as "harvesters" to feed the registry, the vital backbone on which other data sources for cancer research are anchored. Recently, a colleague working on a project based on extracting data from electronic medical records, using advanced technologies including artificial intelligence, found that the extracted results were not intelligible until data were linked to the Cancer Registry. There is no better information system on a disease than the one that is built on data-collection on the patient, the tumor and the extension of the disease. This information is essential, necessary and allows all kinds of research on risk factors or other impact of treatment innovation on survival. It is not possible to feed any population-based research without providing reliable information, in space and time, on these data on cancers, the definition of which evolves with scientific knowledge.
This week will highlight cancer registrars, their role, their dedication and their expertise through the testimonials of some of their representatives.
Thank you to all the CTRs for being our "harvesters", allowing cancer surveillance and research to be conducted at the highest level.
A Special Thank You!
Judy Vang
Senior Director of Operations
Cancer Registry of Greater California

The first week of April is a special time each year for us to celebrate and recognize the great work of cancer registrars during National Cancer Registrars Week. We want to acknowledge the registrars in our catchment area for the vital role you play in capturing the data that informs cancer research, prevention, and treatment programs. You provide a heavy lift as “harvesters” -- curating data on every cancer patient and the fruit of this labor is seen in the advancement of cancer research, treatment, cures and prevention. We send you our appreciation and gratitude for the crucial and meticulous work you do every day. Thank you! 
Data Quality Corner
Winny Roshala, BA, CTR, CRGC Director of Data Quality and Reporting Facility Compliance Officer

Hello and Happy National Cancer Registrars Week! We want to take this opportunity to honor and congratulate all registrars for your continued diligence, dedication and perseverance in curating data of high quality! This years’ theme of “Harvesters of Data to Nurture Cancer Research”, perfectly reflects the time and attention by registrars, to carefully cultivate the pieces of the cancer data puzzle. Each piece on its’ own is of little value, but when connected to other pieces, they richly tell the story of each and every patient. We are all stewards to chronicle the journey of these patients and ensure their data story is well documented, so that their experience can help others. 

It clearly takes a very unique individual with a special highly regarded skillset to perform this challenging work. Registrars create the “data mosaic” for all cancer patients, in documenting their story. Literally, every patient counts! Thereby every registrar “storyteller” carries a responsibility to ensure the “story” is accurately and comprehensively captured.  The work you do every day is so unique, valued and critical to the cancer surveillance community.

We thank you, we honor you and we depend on you to continue writing the cancer patient’s story, so that the data you collect nurtures cancer research and ultimately benefits all cancer patients!
Harvesters of Data to Nurture Cancer Research
Kyle Ziegler, BS, CTR
Director, Data Management
Cancer Registry of Greater California

It is that time of the year again; Easter, spring, and of course, National Cancer Registrars Week! Each time throughout the year, when I stop and think about the skills registrars must possess and the role we play in the Cancer Registry data stream, it amazes me how we adapt to seemingly continuous changes and a never-ending workload. 

This year’s theme is Harvesters of Data to Nurture Cancer Research. I don’t know how many of you out there have ever spent any amount of time on a farm during harvest time but let me tell you, it is back breaking work. The Cancer Registrar may not have the physical type of work found in farming or other industries; we do have a very mental type of work that in some cases is just as back breaking as physical labor. 

Somehow over the years, since I started in this field in 1990, this field has become very complex and complicated. When I began so many years ago, we had four manuals that we had to navigate to code a case; Now, there are nearly 10 manuals. A complicated case in an American College of Surgeons (ACoS) facility would take maybe 25 to 30 minutes to complete, but most of the time it was around 15 to 20 minutes. Now, those same cases take almost 2 hours. 

Even with all these changes, and many more not mentioned here, CTR’s keep it all together. They continue to harvest the data and keep that data coming in for surveillance and research. The CTR is a key and important element in cancer surveillance and the work you all do is critical to continued efforts of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) programs that monitor the burden of cancer on the populations of the United States and the State of California.

We thank you for lending us your talent, skills, and the work you do. You are appreciated and your efforts do not go unnoticed. Thank you for all the work you do each and every day!!

Happy National Cancer Registrars Week!!
If you have questions or concerns regarding any of the content of this CRGC communication please contact me.

Mignon Dryden, CTR
Director, E-Reporting
Cancer Registry of Greater California