SEER Inquiry System - Report
Produced: 12/11/2023 3:34 AM
Primary site: Is there a physician priority list for coding primary site? For example, the surgeon states during a pancreatectomy that the primary is in body while the pathologist states in their synopitc report that primary is neck; neither is in agreement, or neither is available for confirmation.
As a general rule, the surgeon is usually in a better position to determine the site of origin compared to the pathologist. The surgeon sees the tumor in its anatomic location, while the pathologist is often using information given to him/her by the surgeon and looking at a specimen removed from the anatomic landmarks. However, when a pathologist is looking at an entire organ, such as the pancreas, he/she may be able to pinpoint the site of origin within that organ.
In the case of pancreas body vs. neck, the neck is a thin section of the pancreas located between the head and the body. It may be a matter of opinion whether a tumor is located in the "body" vs. the "neck." In the situation you describe, we would give preference to the surgeon and assign the code for body of pancreas, C251.