Friday, July 31, 2009

Blogging from Chicago

7-31-09 Left working brain

Intense day and a half of training held here at the American College of Surgeons offices in downtown Chicago. “Nice digs”….. very upscale….what should I expect when I’m dealing with a physicians’ organization? View from top floor where our meeting is being held.

I managed to stay alert all day yesterday. Today I only need to survive until 1:00PM and then I head to the car parked in a $35 a day ramp and drive back to Iowa.

I’m learning about the changes and additions to the Collaborative Staging Manual we use to code information about the extent of cancer disease. Version 2 of this manual comes out in 2010. I’ll be responsible then to take this information back to the Iowa staff and teach them in the coming months, prior to the changes taking affect.

I won’t begin to be able to explain the details contained in this manual to non-cancer research people. A snap shot: if you have a breast cancer I will be looking for the size of tumor, spread of tumor, involvement of axillary nodes, number of nodes examined, number of nodes positive, test done on nodes to find isolated tumor cells, metastatic disease, what type of metastatic sites, ERA and PRA assay tests results, what type of test was done to get the ERA and PRA values (IHC, FISH, CISH or other?)… and some other new genetic tests now being coded…….And all that just describes the stage. We also collect information on cell type and grading and which grading system is used…. Treatment information of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy…. And more.

Oh how I long for the good old days when cancer was just described as local, regional or distant!
PS: Picture of my former boss Shannon, now working for NAACCR and living in Ohio.

1 comment:

  1. wish i were in chicago with you :) the building with the big "X's" are where Shelby works!