Cancer Registry Abstractor Jobs

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” This popular line is taken from Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. I think of this every time I learn of creative titles that have been given to, or created by cancer registry professionals whose primary role and responsibility is abstracting.

All things being equal, does it matter how we are labeled? Some publications suggest that an impressive title may make an employee feel more empowered. A psychological raise of sorts. Would any of these titles make you a better abstractor?

  • Oncology Data Management Specialist
  • Cancer Registry Data Technician
  • Certified Tumor Registrar
  • Cancer Information Specialist
  • Oncology Biostatical Analyst
  • Tumor Registrar
  • Oncology Data Analyst

If job titles are a brief string of words that are intended to denote our position, duties, authority and responsibility.  What describes the job better than “abstractor”?

A cancer registry abstractor is the single most important job in a cancer registry. Without properly abstracted data there is no reason to have a cancer registry. According to the NCRA, “cancer registrars capture a complete summary of the history, diagnosis, treatment and disease status for every cancer patient. Registrars’ work leads to better information that is used in the management of cancer, and ultimately cures.”   “Information collected and reported by cancer registries are the foundation of all cancer–related research, treatment advances and prevention efforts.”

If you think about it carefully; is there any advanced job within the cancer registry field that does not require a thorough knowledge and understanding of abstracting guidelines, policies, standards and requirements?

Knowledgeable high-quality abstractors are the heart and soul of the cancer registry, it doesn’t really matter what title that you have.

Your turn – what is the most interesting title you have heard?

Jennifer Rohleder BS, CTR
Compliance Director, Oncology Data Management and Accreditation Services


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