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  • 1.  User defined dictionaries and retired data items

    Posted 05-22-2023 02:29 PM

    When our state retires (i.e., no longer requires) state-specific data items, how do we handle this in our user-defined dictionary? Our specific example is that we continued to require the "Forever 7" data items resulting from our participation in the NPCR CER project. As of 2022, we dropped the requirement for the 4 separate tobacco use items. Should these data elements remain in the user-defined data dictionary for a time to accommodate the situation of hospitals that may be reporting older cases in a current year? Apologies if this is addressed in other XML materials, but I could not find the answer.

    Randi Rycroft
    Cancer Data Registry of Idaho

  • 2.  RE: User defined dictionaries and retired data items

    Posted 05-22-2023 03:25 PM

    Hi Randi,


    Sounds like it would be just personal registry preference.  We were rather disappointed that the new smoking data item was not compatible with the existing 4 tobacco-use data items, so we continue to keep the 4 as required and we just added the new one.  We also added marijuana use and vaping as new required data items.  If you remove the 4 tobacco-use items from your registry's data dictionary, then any values received in a data file from any healthcare provider will be ignored upon import into your central registry database regardless of diagnosis year.  My recommendation would be for you to continue to include them in your data dictionary.  This way you will continue to receive these data items, which would be especially important for cases from older diagnosis years.  Then you have the option of excluding the values for analysis starting with diagnosis year 2022 if you wish to.  How long to keep them in the data dictionary?  The SEER delay adjustment factors suggest that after 10 years, the addition of new cases for any particular diagnosis year is considered negligible.  So for 2021 DxYear, that would be 2031.  That would be a suggestion on when to remove them from your data dictionary.





    David O'Brien, PhD, GISP
    Data Analyst, Alaska Cancer Registry
    Alaska Department of Health
    3601 C Street, Suite 250
    Anchorage, AK 99503
    907-269-8047 (ph)
    907-561-1896 (fax)




  • 3.  RE: User defined dictionaries and retired data items

    Posted 06-12-2023 05:39 PM

    I uploaded a new version of our user dictionary a couple of weeks ago but it has not been posted to the clearinghouse yet. Did it not come through?



    Randi Rycroft
    Cancer Data Registry of Idaho

  • 4.  RE: User defined dictionaries and retired data items

    Posted 06-13-2023 11:24 AM

    Hi Randi - I'm checking on the user dictionary, hopefully will be posted soon

    Valerie Yoder
    Utah Cancer Registry

  • 5.  RE: User defined dictionaries and retired data items

    Posted 05-22-2023 03:40 PM

    Hi Randi,

    In general, when an item is being "retired", it needs to be removed from the new user-defined dictionaries.

    But that's because "retired" means "this data item should never be transmitted by this dictionary again".  It's very different than saying "this data item is not applicable anymore (not collected anymore), but it still needs to be transmitted for old cases". 

    If you look at the standard NAACCR items, you will see many of them that are only applicable to old cases, but they still need to be transmitted today, and NAACCR never retired them. 

    Taking the tobacco fields from your example:  if those fields were removed from your central registry system, then you would never want an hospital to send them again (not even for old cases); in that case those field would really be "retired" and removed from the new dictionaries. On the other hand, if your central registry system still supports the fields (for old cases), then you would be OK still receiving that data. In that case, you wouldn't really "retire" the fields; but you will expect them to only be transmitted for old cases (which is simple to enforce via edits for example).

    I hope this somewhat answers your question.  There isn't really one answer-fits-all. But if you still not sure how to proceed, I would lean towards leaving them and re-evaluating next year (it's the path of least resistance).

    Fabian Depry
    Information Management Services, Inc.