CCR Innovations | Volume 2 | Issue 1 - page 5

California Cancer Registry
Volume 3, Issue 1
  Hospital cancer registrars and central/regional registry staff work    
  together to collect and report high quality cancer data.  The data  
  are used for both clinical medicine and for public health. 
As noted in Volume I, the main purpose of a hospital cancer registry is to provide physicians with the data 
needed to maintain quality of care through peer review and to compare performance with recognized 
standards. 
Hospital‐based registries collect cancer data for the paƟents in their “service area” or from outside their 
service area if they provided specialized services.  
A more comprehensive level of reporƟng is required by state law and that level is supported by the 
California Cancer Registry (CCR) and the network of regional cancer registries within the state.  
InformaƟon is gathered primarily for use in epidemiological research and for monitoring the occurrence of 
cancer in the state and in the naƟon.   
The network of regional cancer registries in California are populaƟon‐based registries that capture 
informaƟon on cancer incidence occurring in defined geographic areas.  Each central/regional registry acts 
as a mulƟple purpose populaƟon‐based incidence registry.  A mulƟpurpose registry combines incidence 
reporƟng with survival results, paƟent care and various other research and cancer‐control acƟviƟes. 
PopulaƟon‐based cancer registries are able to calculate the incidence of cancer in their defined 
populaƟons. A standard incidence rate is reported as the number of cancer cases per 100,000 populaƟon.  
For incidence rate calculaƟons, the numerator figure includes all of the eligible cancer cases.  The 
denominator figure includes all of the eligible residents of the defined geographic area. For accurate 
populaƟon‐based cancer incidence rates, each incident case must be counted, only once, at the Ɵme of 
iniƟal diagnosis. The incident case must also be represented in the denominator figure.  This means that 
the incident case must be a member of the populaƟon at risk (a resident of the defined geographic area). 
Certain criteria must be met for a cancer case to be included as an incident case for a populaƟon‐based 
registry: 
1. The tumor must meet reportability requirements. 
2. The paƟent’s residence must meet residence requirements.  
The main purpose of the address (at diagnosis) field, therefore, is to idenƟfy the paƟent’s 
residence at the 
Ɵme the cancer was first diagnosed
, not the paƟent’s current address. 
The two address fields on the cancer reporƟng abstract, Address at Diagnosis and Current Address, may, 
or may not be coded the same because they serve two different funcƟons.  The Address at Diagnosis field 
is the paƟent’s residence at the Ɵme the cancer was first diagnosed and it is used for reporƟng cancer 
incidence in specific geographic areas. The Current Address field is used for follow‐up acƟviƟes. 
Volume I contains specific rules and instrucƟons for determining and collecƟng residence at the Ɵme of 
diagnosis. The rules for determining residence (address) at diagnosis are either idenƟcal, or comparable to 
rules used by the U.S. Census Bureau, to ensure comparability of definiƟon of cases (numerator) and the 
populaƟon at risk (denominator).  Some of the rules and guidelines were described in the October issue of 
CCR InnovaƟons “Geocoding and Data Quality.”   
The residence reporƟng rules documented in Volume I are common to all of the registries in the  
Recording Address at Diagnosis
(Cont. Pg 6)
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