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Collecting Cancer Data to Improve Care Across All Populations

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Each year in California, nearly 10,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer, 1400 with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and more than 2,000 with myeloma. Through the SEER Patterns of Care Studies, PHI's Cancer Register of Greater California (CRGC) collects information from physicians and medical records to supplement and verify routine cancer registry data on these types of cancers—including patients diagnosed across the 49 counties that make up the CRGC catchment area, and their physicians. The CRGC assesses just over 103,410 new cancer cases each year from across 49 counties. The CRGC processes over 471,000 pathology reports and performs quality control on over 67,257 incoming cases each year. In 2017 alone, CRGC identified and added 11,082 new cases to the statewide database in physicians’ offices that were not seen in the other reporting sources. 

The SEER Patterns of Care Studies describe, characterize, and compare practice patterns and treatments provided for cancer in different geographic areas of the US and are conducted annually under a Congressional directive. Thanks to the CRGC's work, the collected data will be consolidated at the National Cancer Institute with data from other SEER registries across the US, allowing researchers to find patterns of treatment and identify any disparities by age, geography, or race and ethnicity. This information is then used to inform providers of cancer care and for further research into reasons for disparities.

In 2017, CRGC received a silver (second place) award for meeting 13 out of 14 Data Quality Marker Indicators in their most recent data submission to the National Cancer Institute’s SEER program. This award reflects the dedication and hard work of CRGC staff across the state.

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