ALTON, IL – Cancer registrars throughout the United States and abroad will join their colleagues, community leaders, and other medical professionals to observe the 15th annual National Cancer Registrars Week (NCRW), April 11-15, 2011.

The 2011 theme, Cancer Registrars Pave the Way to a Cure, reflects cancer registrars’ role in compiling the critical information needed to support effective cancer treatment and research, with the ultimate goal of preventing cancer and finding a cure.

Heather Howard is the cancer registrar at Alton Memorial Hospital.

Cancer registrars are data information specialists who collect and code patient-level data for cancer registries. The registries provide essential information to health care providers and health officials to better monitor and improve cancer treatment, conduct research, and target cancer prevention and screening programs.

“Quality cancer data is central to the nation’s fight against cancer, and cancer registrars are the first link in capturing that data,” says NCRA president Susan M. Koering, MEd, RHIA, CTR. “National Cancer Registrars Week provides an opportunity to acknowledge the central role registrars play in the research, treatment and prevention of cancer.”

Cancer registrars work in a variety of cancer treatment and research settings, and manage a wide range of demographic and medical data on those with cancer. The information is both submitted and utilized by state and national cancer registries to enable cancer programs to accurately determine cancer patient populations, measure outcomes of treatment and survival, and formulate plans for improvement. The data is included in numerous publications including the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, a collaboration of the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. The report uses cancer registry data to provide updated information on cancer occurrence and trends.

National Cancer Registrars Week activities include staff recognition events, professional development sessions and displays.

Chartered in May 1974, the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) is

a non-profit organization that represents more than 5,000 cancer registry professionals and Certified Tumor Registrars. The mission of NCRA is to promote education, credentialing and advocacy for cancer registry professionals. Cancer registrars capture a complete summary of patient history, diagnosis, treatment and status for every cancer patient in the United States and other countries as well. Cancer registrars hope their work will lead to better treatments, and ultimately, a cure. For more information about NCRA, visit www.ncra-usa.org.

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