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NETS Module 5: Head and Neck Malignancies

The NPCR Education and Training Series (NETS) is a series of educational tools for state trainers to support central cancer registries in their role of providing education to staff and reporters. For more information about how you may use the NETS modules, please see Guidelines for Using the NETS Modules.

Note: This module is being updated to meet 2010 specifications. Please remember to check back for current training materials.

The head and neck cancer advanced abstracting module consists of three parts—

  1. Overview (incidence and multiple primary rules) [PDF-3.3MB]
  2. Putting the Pieces Together [PDF-5.8MB]
  3. Treatment and Survival [PDF-3.2MB]

There are 11 difficult head and neck cancer cases consisting of de-identified physician dictation, a basic blank abstract, and completed abstracts for each with codes and rationales/documentation. The trainer is not expected to present all 11 cases at a single training; rather, two or three cases should be selected that target specific issues pertinent to the workshop. Alternatively, the entire presentation may be focused on one area of the head and neck, for example oral cavity. For more information, please see Instructions for Presenters.

The abstract for the sample cases follows the FORDS manual in organization and includes the five multiple primary data fields added in 2007. Most of the items should be completed with the appropriate data codes used by NPCR and the Commission on Cancer. It is suggested that, to facilitate discussion, the AJCC TNM staging items be completed with the actual stage or staging component instead of the code for the stage. Otherwise, participants can enter data on the abstract however their cancer registry software requires. In particular, the coding of unknown dates varies from state to state and software system to software system.

Participants will need a FORDS manual (current version) and copies of the head and neck cancer sections of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 6th edition, Collaborative Staging manual (current version), Multiple Primaries and Histology Coding Rules (current version), and the SEER Summary Staging Manual 2000.

Case Studies and Exercise Worksheets

The exercises that follow are taken from actual medical charts that have been de-identified to protect patient privacy and are used as part of the learning process. Drug names are trademarked and listed as they actually appear in their medical records.

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