Have you ever been reading a report on cancer or looked for cancer data and when you got to Nevada you found that there was footnote, “Data not available”? Usually this is joined by, “Rates are not shown if the state did not meet USCS publication criteria or if the state did not submit data to the CDC.”
We’ve cringed and wrung our hands more than once as we eagerly dove into a new report only to be met with that dreaded footnote and Nevada’s exclusion from the report’s findings. And not because Nevada doesn’t submit data, but because the data submitted by the Nevada Central Cancer Registry (NCCR) didn’t meet standards. Standards for inclusion in United States Cancer Statistics (USCS) include achieving specified levels of completeness of data and completeness of case ascertainment, limiting the number of death certificate only cases, and submitting data in a timely manner.
But cringe no more! Fantastic news came out of the NCCR today. A memo from the chief of the Cancer Surveillance Branch of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control beings, “We would like to take this opportunity to recognize your State cancer registry as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) Registry for Surveillance. This achievement indicates that you State cancer registry met the CDC NPCR standard for inclusion in this year’s United States Cancer Statistics (USCS) report and other analytic data sets.” Read the full memo here.
To state simply, data submitted by NCCR meets the standards for inclusion in cancer data reports and other analysis.
We told you it was exciting data news.
NCCR increased case ascertainment by more than 40 percent, meaning that more cases are being submitted to the registry. Accuracy improved as well. NCCR decreased the number of cases with unknown race by greater than 60 percent, and made the same decrease in death certificate only cases.
The team at the NCCR has been working hard to earn certification from North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), which sets the standards for cancer data, with a goal of earning silver certification by 2016 and gold certification by 2018. While NCCR did not make NAACCR certification due to incomplete case ascertainment, it was able to achieve gold in all other registry elements. If the registry can maintain the gains made while also increasing case ascertainment, it is on track to make gold certification and reach its goal.
In the short term, we’re looking forward to finding more reports, like this one!, that include Nevada’s cancer data. And in the long term, we’ll be working with NCCR to increase registry reporting across the state so we can help to achieve NAACCR gold certification.
Cheers to NCCR and cancer registrars working in Nevada!