Tumor Registrar and Cancer Coding

The main duty of a tumor registrar is to collect, compile, and maintain records of patients treated for cancer in a hospital. A tumor registrar can be applied in one or more hospitals. After collecting data about cancer patients, a tumor registrar enters the data in a tumor data system. The data are used by physicians to conduct research studies and by hospital management for the purposes of cancer management. In addition, data found in tumor registry help hospitals to comply with government regulations concerning cancer management.

Apart from collecting information concerning cancer from patients, a tumor registrar also collects, compiles, and maintains other information from cancer patients such as medical history, demographic characteristics, and family medical history. In addition, a tumor registrar is responsible for contacting cancer patients, after they are discharged from hospitals, in order to obtain follow-up data. This data are used to evaluate the quality of cancer patients’ life and their survival length. A tumor registrar is also responsible for preparing statistical or narrative reports, as well as graphic representations from the data collected.

The relationship between tumor registrar and coding cancer is that a tumor registrar utilizes cancer codes developed, using the ICD-9-CM method of coding cancer, to undertake his/her duties at the tumor registry (McCall 1). Every type of cancer is assigned to a specific cancer code. A cancer registrar, who is also a tumor registrar, uses these codes for identification purposes. Coding cancer not only provides with codes for the various types of cancer, but also provides a description of the disease itself. This helps a tumor registrar to identify the correct type of cancer that a patient is suffering from. Under every cancer code, a tumor registrar creates a database for all patients suffering from the type of cancer assigned to a particular code (McCall 2).

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