Department of Public Health Sciences

Conversion from SEER Extent of Disease to AJCC Stage Grouping

Cress RD, Davidson-Sawyer K

Journal of Registry Management . 1999. 26(3):89-91.

Stage at diagnosis is important information for those who use cancer registry data. Unfortunately, the use of different staging schemes by hospitals and central cancer registries makes comparisons difficult. The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program developed a computer algorithm to convert Extent of Disease (EOD) to the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging scheme. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and utility of this conversion. We compared pathologic stage grouping assigned by the hospital registrar, when available to the stage grouping assigned by the computer program for cancer cases of the rectum, colon, bladder, breast, lung, cervix, uterus, and ovaries. Agreement between manual and converted codes varied, but was approximately 90% for all sites. Discrepancies between the two methods were most frequently the result of the two-month rule used to assign EOD. Despite its limitation, use of the conversion program allows registries to obtain staging information not otherwise available, and makes registry data more usable.

Keywords: staging, extent of disease, AJCC staging, SEER

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