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Pathology Reports

Typically, more than 90 percent of all cancers are histologically confirmed. Reviewing all pathology reports is essential to complete cancer reporting. If the pathology department is computerized and each report contains an ICD-O histology and behavior code, a computerized list of diagnoses with behavior codes of 2 (in-situ) and 3 (malignant, primary) can be generated. A separate list of all diagnoses with behavior codes of 0 (benign) and 1 (borderline and uncertain behavior) should also be printed to allow review of these reports.

If the pathology department is not computerized or does not use ICD-O codes to code histology, the registrar must manually review each pathology report. Some cancer registrars arrange with the pathology department to automatically have copies of all pathology reports sent to the registry for review so that the registrar can determine which are reportable.

Both computerized and manual methods of reviewing pathology reports must include a way to track reports to ensure that each report has been included in the registrar's review. A copy of the pathology report may not be in the file at the time of the registrar's review; occasionally, slides are submitted for outside consultation and review, and pathologists require additional time to draft a final report for a pathology specimen. An example of a pathology screening log is provided below.

Sample Pathology Screening Log

Pathology Screening Log
Date of Review Pathology Log #
Reviewed from
Pathology Log #
Reviewed to
Missing Pathology Reports Person Completing the Review
12-6-2001 11-1-2001 12-2-2001 01-9994 CLH