Cancer registrars are data collection specialists who draw a holistic picture of a patient's medical history by looking at the diagnosis, treatment, and disease status for every patient. Their work is vital because it can lead to better information use by the medical specialists managing cancer treatment. The data collected by cancer registrars is used to monitor cancer treatments that are in the advanced stages and improve cancer prevention and screening programs.
Cancer registrars must examine medical and pathological records to ascertain the patients' eligibility to join the cancer registry. They need to follow up on data regularly to track progress and assist with special projects, and they must be able to make abstracts of medical records by translating medical terminology into standardized codes for diagnoses and treatment. In addition, cancer registrars compile and report data from all of the medical facilities treating each patient. Cancer registrars may work in hospitals, centralized or state registries, government organizations, software clients, pharmaceutical companies, or insurance agencies. Additionally, they may be self-employed.
Cancer registrars must have good communication skills, proficiency with basic computer programs, and knowledge of human anatomy, medical terminology and statistics. Cancer registrars generally must have be accredited by the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA), which generally requires a combination of education and relevant experience.
Cancer Registrar Tasks
Perform case audits and reviews to ensure accuracy of data.
Abstract and code clinical data.
Prepare data reports for review by management staff.
Attain follow-up data by reviewing medical records, physician notes and interviewing patients.
Compile, organize and report medical case data.