December 2015
    Vol 4 Issue 4
From the Editor  
Happy Holidays! I don't know how we got to December so quickly this year, but I am sure I am not alone in realizing how busy this year has been. I think 2015 is preparing us for all that will be coming in the NEXT year! But before we get to 2016, we hope you'll take a few minutes to see highlights of some of our recent work in this issue of CHATS.

Danielle Rodriguez, our epidemiologist for Regions 2, 3, and 6, has an interesting article about cancer concerns and some common misconceptions held by community members regarding cancer and why they are not true. In addition, she describes a cancer concern on which she recently worked, the outcome, and her next steps.
Winny Roshala, Data Quality Control Director, talks about the background behind our latest guideline: Coding Papillary Carcinoma.
Cory Hamma, our Director of IT, shares some helpful and important tips about data security, specifically on secure email and secure file transfers.
Dr. John Morgan, our epidemiologist for Regions 4, 5, 7, and 10, describes research findings about potentially actionable predictors of improved survival for AML patients after reviewing data collected by the three SEER regions in California. 
We hope you enjoy these articles as well as the upcoming holidays! Take time to enjoy your friends and family and remember to take some time for yourself as well. As a reminder, the CRGC offices will be closed the week of December 21st. And as always, thank you for all of your hard work! 


As we all know, the mission of CRGC is to record timely and quality cancer information from all cancer patients in 48 California counties and utilize this information to help prevent cancer and reduce cancer morbidity and mortality. The data from CRGC is then used by internal and external researchers, clinicians, cancer registrars, public health officials, policy makers, community groups, health educators, and the general public. One area of research that the regional epidemiologists at CRGC are involved in is responding to questions and concerns from residents and organizations regarding cancer in their communities. Here at CRGC we call these "Cancer Concerns" or "Cancer Clusters".


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Histology Coding of Papillary Carcinoma Guideline
Winny Roshala, BA, CTR
Data Quality Control Director, CRGC

The CRGC conducts ongoing data reviews to identify coding inconsistencies and subsequent educational opportunities. We conducted an analysis on coding histology for papillary carcinoma of 3 primary sites. These sites include bladder, thyroid and breast. These sites were selected due to the significant number of cases with histology coding variations involving papillary carcinoma. Some cases are being incorrectly coded to 8050/3, papillary carcinoma, NOS, when in fact, there are specific coding rules instructing abstractors to use other histology codes.

Data Security: Data at Rest, Data in Motion, Data Taking a Nap
Cory Hamma
IT Director, CRGC

We all work with confidential patient data on a daily basis, and the ability to securely send files to others is a critical part of most cancer reporting-related jobs. How can you be certain that your files are being sent to recipients in a secure manner?

Today we'll focus on the most common method of data transfer - e-mail. Regardless of the facility, emails sent using your work email account to outside organizations, such as the CRGC, are considered insecure, and should not contain patient information, even in the file attachment.

Improving Acute Myeloid Leukemia Survival in California: Roles for Follow-up & Quality Care
John W. Morgan, DrPH, CPH
CRGC Epidemiologist, Regions 4, 5, 7, and 10

There will be approximately 1,515 California residents diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) this year and approximately 972 deaths, while little improvement in survival for AML has been achieved during the past decade. Together with colleagues at Loma Linda Universtity and the Cancer Registry of Greater California (CRGC), John W. Morgan, DrPH, CPH, Epidemiologist for Regions 4, 5, 7, and 10 of the CRGC is conducting research that uses data from the three California SEER registries for 2003-2012 to identify potentially actionable predictors of improved AML survival.

Region 5 Education Program Scheduled

Region 5 has scheduled their annual Regional Registrars Education Program for May 18, 2015 at the Wong Kerlee Conference Center, Loma Linda University Medical Center.  One of our guest speakers will be Donna Hansen, CTR, Auditor/Training Coordinator, CalCARES  Program, who will be providing TNM and Summary Stage education.
CRGC Website Updated

There is a new look to the CRGC Resource Page on the CRGC website. All the Guideline documents are in their own section in order to locate them more easily. 

For those of you in need of CEU hours, don't forget that the NAACCR webinar recordings are available on the CRGC Website. Each webinar offers 3 CEU's.
Cancer Registrar Feedback
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for Chats contact Mignon Dryden at
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