This Third Edition of the Massachusetts Cancer Registry Abstracting and Coding Manual for Hospitals is a revision of the Second Edition of the manual which was published in 1995. In light of updates and clarifications needed to the original manual and the coding changes beginning with 1998 data, it was felt that a third edition was necessary.

The Massachusetts Cancer Registry (MCR) continues to strive for compatibility with the coding and abstracting practices of the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Program of Cancer Registries (CDC/NPCR), the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), and the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). Compatibility with these groups assures consistent coding and allows Massachusetts hospitals and the MCR to compare data with other states and the nation as a whole.

The Massachusetts Cancer Registry Cancer Information Management System (MCR-CIMS) has been revised to accommodate the changes in this manual. Vendors of software reporting programs have also been informed of these changes.

The codes in this edition are to be used for cases diagnosed as of January 1, 1998. Pre-1998 cases that have already been abstracted should not be re-coded. A copy of the second edition of this manual should be retained in each hospital registry for reference.

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This information is provided by the Massachusetts Cancer Registry within the Department of Public Health.