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Cancer Registrar Job Description

Cancer registrars, also known as tumor registrars, review and compile data related to cancer and other tumors in patients in order to facilitate their research and treatment.

Cancer Registrar Job Duties

As a type of medical coder, cancer registrars maintain cancer registry databases, updating them with new information on new and existing cancer patients. This can involve:

  • Reviewing patients’ records for information related to cancer treatment
  • Abscracts and codes medical information for reference by other coders
  • Comparing multiple patients’ files to search for patterns in data
  • Researching other aspects of patients, such as demographic information, home life, etc
  • Following up on current and previous patients to track treatment progress
  • Prepares statistical reports based on cancer patient data

Cancer registrars are also responsible for screening patients for experimental treatments and procedures, as they are in touch with previous treatment information and patterns in patient treatment.

In addition to handling patient records at their own facility, the registrar gathers treatment information about procedures done at other facilities. This makes research a large part of cancer registrar work.

Registrars may also be required to follow up on patients by checking hospital records, conducting doctor surveys, or by sending letters to patients themselves. Since cancer registrars’ work is so varied, often a managing registrar leads a team of registrars who handle different aspects of the registry.

Cancer Registrar Work Environment

Most cancer registrars work in hospitals, where they work out of an office, using computers and other office equipment. They are not directly involved in patient care, though they may have some indirect contact with cancer patients and their families.