2019 CRAAZ Annual Education Conference was a success!

Date: November 20th 2019

Location: Dignity Health
St. Joseph Hospital & Medical Center
SONNTAG Pavilion
350 W Thomas Road  Phoenix AZ 85013

The meeting was a success…
CRAAZ was able to offer this meeting through webinar for the 1st time as well as on-site. Our presenters were fabulous and were able to address a lot of changes to the new rules in place.

Recognition to our NEW CTRs for 2018 & 2019.
Along with their recognition, they were given as a gift to passing the CTR exam free membership for 2020. CONGRATULATIONS to our NEW CTR’s!

2018 (Spring, Summer, Fall)
Emily Martin
Miriam Wilder-Hairston
Lisa Hall
Amanda Little
Lisa Broles
Michelle Lenzen
Kaleb Martorano
Sherry Willard

2019 (Spring, Summer, Fall is pending results)
Valeria Chorba
Elizabeth (Liz) Pulcini

Raffle Winners
Thia Nguyen – Starbucks donated from Elekta
Susan Sullivan – Starbucks w/coffee & tea donated from Registry Partners
Jill Herschel – Harkin’s family pack of 4
Melanie Zaleski – Wine

Early Bird Registration $50 Winner for 2019
Candi Carver

Vendors that Participated at the 2019 CRAAZ Conference
Sonreg Solutions Inc.

Message from SEER and NAACCR

July 17, 2019
Solid Tumor Rules: July 2019 Update

Based on questions and continued suggestions from registrars and educators, the decision was made to update the applicable rules at this time. Most changes are minor: terminology, additional definitions, and new notes and examples.   We recommend you read the July 2019 Change Log to understand what changes were made. 

Major changes
Lung H rule:

We identified an issue with lung histology reporting by pathologists and after consulting with our expert lung pathologist, determined that a rule should be added to specifically address this issue.  

The new lung H rule address tumors with multiple types of adenocarcinoma and percentages of each type listed in the diagnosis. The original H rule instructed registrars to code adenocarcinoma, mixed types (8255/3). Per our lung expert, ICD-O code 8255/3 is strongly discouraged. The new H rule provides instructions on coding the histology comprising the greatest percentage of tumor. Lung Table 2 (Combination histology codes) has also been updated to reinforce the new H rule. 

Important:  We strongly suggest you review lung cases diagnosed 1/1/2018 forward with code 8255/3 to determine if a specific histology code can be assigned based on the new H rule. By coding a specific histology rather than the mixed histology, you will be able to assign stage.  

Lung M rule:
A rule was added to address separate non-contiguous tumors, one with a combination code from Table 2 and one with a single histology from Table 3.

A comprehensive change log has also been posted for reference. 

The updated rules published July 2019 apply to the following sites only:

•       Breast
•       Colon/Rectum
•       Head & Neck 
•       Lung
•       Kidney
•       Malignant CNS
•       Non-malignant CNS
•       Urinary

The Solid Tumor Manual can be accessed at: https://seer.cancer.gov/tools/solidtumor/

Submit questions concerning the Solid Tumor Rules to Ask A SEER Registrar:

2019 Events in Arizona

2019 Events in Arizona

  • Arizona Cancer Registry will be hosting an Annual Workshop, A Data Focus, on June 28th, 2019 at Desert Willow Conference Center. 

  • Cancer Registrar of Arizona (CRAAZ) will be hosting an Annual Event on November 20th, 2019 at St Joseph Hospital & Medical Center in Phoenix Arizona.

  • American Cancer Society will be hosting several events in Arizona.  Here are a list of events if you would like to attend. If you would like additional information on any of these events click here to search for that specific event. 
    • 2019 Tucson DE Breakfast AZ
    • 2019 Real Men Wear Pink of Phoenix AZ
    • 2019 Relay For Life of Queen Creek and San Tan Valley AZ VL
    • 2019 Making Strides of Phoenix AZ
    • 2019 Rugged Maniac Phoenix-Glendale AZ
    • 2019 OdySea in the Desert AZ

2018 CRAAZ Conference Was Cancelled

2018 CRAAZ Conference was Cancelled…

Hello Everyone!

Registration for the Fall Conference has opened and we are ready to accept registration! Please click the link which will take you to the page to complete registration. You can either complete it online or you can print off the form and mail it to us. We will also accept late registration at the door but please complete the form early so we can adequately plan for the number of attendees! Thanks so much for all you do and we look forward to seeing you all there!

Juliet Wilkins
2018 CRAAZ President

Summertime Madness

We’ve almost made it out of summertime in Phoenix, but what has been hotter than the summer sun are some of ACR’s most recent reports available to you and the Arizona community. Still warm from the printing press; check out Arizona Melanoma Reporting 2018-1, for the most recent update on
physician reporting of melanoma. It’s hard to believe that 2018 changes are among us. At the ACR we are not only preparing for 2018 changes, but also producing information retrospectively on prior diagnosis years such as the release of “Cancer in Arizona – Statistics & Trends.” From day to day work activities, it might be hard to imagine your role in Arizona’s public health system as a single hospital registrar. However, collectively registrars have an enormous impact on cancer analysis through their abstracts. I encourage you to see the impact you make by checking for newly posted information on cancer and related at the ACR websitehttps://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/public-health-statistics/cancer-registry/index.php

Kaleb Martorana
CRAAZ Secretary

Hello From Liz Pulcini

         Greetings, fellow registrars and CRAAZ members! I am relatively new to the cancer registry community, and I’d like to share what drew me to the field and where I currently am in this new career. Years ago, I had aspirations of contributing to cancer research and helping solve a small piece of the puzzle by studying mutated tumor suppressor p53 protein and its association with heat shock proteins in breast cancer cells. As a graduate student in cancer biology, I found molecular research with cancer cells interesting and challenging, but I couldn’t see myself as a principal investigator. Not many women were researchers in academia, and the few I knew were stressed trying to make it work. My ideal career had to have more flexibility. I didn’t want to do experiments in the lab every weekend or write grants during my free time.
            I moved on to more graduate studies, this time in scholarly editing, and worked as an academic copy editor for over a decade, fine tuning authors’ manuscripts to transform textbooks, journal articles, and other written works into publishable shape. The work was enjoyable and flexible, but the deadlines were challenging. The project-based nature of the work made advancement elusive, and I became stuck.
              In 2016, I began to search for a new career, one where I could use my knowledge of cancer biology and my experience with managing details as a copy editor. “Oncology Data Specialist” was the term that caught my attention. Had I found my professional niche at last?  I read about NCRA and discovered that cancer registry work seemed to pull together many of my interests and skills. I could still make a contribution to cancer research without having to DO research. I could use my editorial attention to detail to create excellent abstracts. I could work remotely. I started the online certificate program offered by NCRA/AHIMA a little over a year ago. Through extreme luck, I was connected to Juliet Wilkins (our fearless CRAAZ leader) via the NCRA mentoring program, and I could not have asked for a smarter, kinder, or more patient person to guide me through these early stages of development into a cancer registrar. If you are new to the field, I highly recommend finding a mentor. The manuals are not always clear, and it helps to have someone with experience explain and clarify certain rules and exceptions. Last October I attended my first CRAAZ meeting and met Juliet in person. I also met the registrars at Tucson Medical Center (TMC) and learned that one of them was retiring.
           Fast-forward to July 2018 and I’ve been working at TMC for about 8 months, performing all the functions of a CTR. Juliet was right, the learning curve is steep. I’m still on it. Analytical thinking and attention to detail are crucial, and my prior work prepared me well for these aspects. Staging isn’t as difficult as I expected because of my familiarity with the progression of cancer. One particular challenge for me, however, has been learning to decipher the clinical language used in operative reports. I do feel that I have found my niche though, and I am enjoying piecing together the story of each case and striving to assemble the most thorough and accurate abstracts I can.
I look forward to getting to know more of you and learning how you got into registry work and who helped you along the way. I want to hear about what’s going well in your work and what isn’t. How can we improve our abstracting, combine our intellectual resources, be more efficient, and support one another? This is part of CRAAZ’s mission. The more we collaborate, the stronger our work and our registry community will be. And a stronger registry community translates into high-quality data and better outcomes for cancer patients—our raison d’être.
Liz Pulcini, MS, General Membership Representative

Hello Arizona Registry Community!!!!!!

So happy to find you here! The Cancer Registry Association of Arizona is very excited about the new look and energy we are creating around YOUR Association. I emphasize YOUR Association because that’s what CRAAZ is. CRAAZ does not exist without the membership of the registrars throughout the state. An organization that was created in 1997 to serve the Arizona registry community in training and education, networking, and advocacy. With the busyness of the work we do and the volunteer nature of the CRAAZ Board, we recognized that CRAAZ needed to step up and be more of a presence and greater service to the AZ registry community. In the next year you will see more postings to the website… job postings… training and education opportunities… invitations for your involvement… networking opportunities… and more.

To begin with… the next NAACCR Webinar is 6/7/2018 and the topic is Thyroid and Adrenal Gland

(See the calendar attached.) Please join me at the Arizona Cancer Registry for the free airing of this webinar and gain 3 CEU’s. Watch for the registration link from survey monkey or contact Teri Johnson at Teresa.johnson@azdhs.gov

Also Please Save the Date of June 29th for the Annual Arizona Cancer Registry meeting

Please spread the word that CRAAZ is here and working to support the Arizona Registry Community. If you have not joined or know new registrars that don’t know about CRAAZ share the info and help make CRAAZ stronger and better to continue to support the good work we all do. We’re stronger together!

Teri Johnson

Trainer/CRAAZ Treasurer

Arizona Cancer Registry

NAACCR 2017-2018 Series