Cancer registrars: The lighthouse in a storm of change

This week we celebrate National Cancer Registrars Week, and recognise the work of the Tumour Registration Officers at the National Cancer Registry Ireland.

Cancer Registrars (known in Ireland as Tumour Registration Officers) throughout the world will join their colleagues, fellow medical professionals, and community leaders to observe the 19th annual National Cancer Registrars Weeks (NCRW), April 6-10, 2015 in the United States. The purpose of NCRW is to emphasise the important role cancer registrars play in capturing the data that informs cancer research, prevention, and treatment programs.

“Accurate recording of the cancer type, its staging and treatment is a skill requiring dedication, perseverance and a scrupulous attention to detail” notes Dr Harry Comber, Director of the National Cancer Registry Ireland. “We have been fortunate in the National Cancer Registry in having a team of Tumour Registration Officers who, for over 20 years, have given us data we can rely on completely. This has allowed the Registry, in turn, to supply crucial data and analysis to our colleagues in cancer control, with complete faith in its accuracy and completeness.”

This year’s theme – Cancer registrars: The lighthouse in a storm of change – was chosen by the National Cancer Registrars Association in the United States, to acknowledge how cancer registrars have stayed the course through myriad of changes. The way cancer is diagnosed and the treatment protocols are evolving every day and keeping up-to-date with these advancements can be a challenge, but one many registrars embrace. They know that each case they abstract helps to provide the critical data needed to find effective, evidence-based treatments.

Grace Gregan, Tumour Registration Officer (TRO) at the National Cancer Registry Ireland explains “Our role is challenging and multifaceted. We have a keen awareness that timely capture and accurate interpretation of the data plays a central role in how future cancer treatments and services are developed.”

The National Cancer Registry would like to acknowledge the valuable and important work done by all of the Tumour Registration Officers at the NCRI currently, and since data collection commenced in 1994.  In particular, we welcome our two newest TROs - Anne Summerville (Letterkenny) and Siobhan Meacham (Limerick), and acknowledge the service of Mary Chambers, TRO Supervisor, who has been with the registry since its inception.


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