EOD-Extension--Head & Neck (Larynx): When "fixed" is stated for a larynx primary does it specifically have to say that it is the vocal cord that is fixed? Are the terms "fixed" and "immobile" synonymous? Should these cases be coded to 40 rather than 35? See discussion.
1. The tumor is fixed, the arytenoid on left side is fixed and the right arytenoid is partially fixed. Palpation of the tumor reveals it to be fixed in the larynx. T3 N0 M0 Stage III.
2. Erythema and swelling of right false cord with bulging and immobility. Left cord moves normally. T3 N0 M0 Stage III.
For cases diagnosed 1998-2003:
Code the EOD-Extension field for both cases to 40 [Tumor limited to larynx WITH vocal cord fixation]. Code 35 [Impaired vocal cord mobility] implies that mobility is diminished in strength and/or quality but is not rigid. Impaired mobility is a T2 tumor. Because the second case is T3, the physician implies he/she is using the term "immobility" to describe complete fixation.
Multiple Primaries (Pre-2007)--Breast: When a breast cancer is treated with less than a total mastectomy and more than 2 months later a tumor of the same histology is diagnosed in the same breast with no statement of "recurrence," is this a new primary?
For tumors diagnosed prior to 2007:
Count as 2 primaries when a subsequent malignant breast tumor is diagnosed more than 2 months later unless stated to be a recurrence. For cases diagnosed after 1/1/94, an in situ followed by an invasive breast cancer is counted as two primaries even if stated to be a recurrence.
For tumors diagnosed 2007 or later, refer to the MP/H rules. If there are still questions about how this type of tumor should be coded, submit a new question to SINQ and include the difficulties you are encountering in applying the MP/H rules.
Surgery of Primary Site--Ovary: What code is used to represent this field when a patient has a history of a previous organ removal and has additional surgery/organ removal for a present cancer (e.g., History of a 1984 hysterectomy and in 2003 has ovarian primary treated with BSO)?
For cases diagnosed 1/1/2003 and after: Code the Surgery of Primary Site field to 52 [Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy WITH hysterectomy].
Date of Diagnosis: If a clinician states his current diagnosis of malignancy is based on a CT scan done at an early date that contained a diagnosis of only "neoplasm" or "worrisome for carcinoma" should the date of diagnosis be the date of the scan?
Yes. Code the Date of Diagnosis field to the date of the scan. The physician's clinical impression upon reviewing the earlier scan, is that the malignancy was confirmed by the scan. If there is a medical review of a previous scan that indicates the patient had a malignancy at an earlier date, then the earlier date is the date of diagnosis, i.e., the date is back-dated.
Reason for No Cancer-Directed Surgery--Lung: How do you code this field for a lung primary that presents with metastasis to the bone and brain in which the oncologist's treatment plan includes only radiation and chemotherapy?
Code the Reason for No Cancer-Directed Surgery field to 1 [Cancer-Directed Surgery Not Recommended].
Grade, Differentiation--Lymphoma: What code is used to represent this field when the only grade/differentiation given is "low grade", "intermediate grade" or "high grade"?
Code the Grade, Differentiation field to 9 [cell type not determined, not stated or not applicable]. For lymphomas, do not code the descriptions "high grade," "low grade," and "intermediate grade" in the Grade, Differentiation field. These terms refer to categories in the Working Formulation and not to histologic grade for lymphoma histologies.
Generally, for histologies other than Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the Grade, Differentiation field is coded to 2 [low grade], 3 [intermediate grade] and 4 [high grade] for most cancers.
Surgery of Primary Site/Date Therapy Initiated--Cervix: Should "negative endocervical curettings" be coded as surgical treatment for carcinoma in situ of the cervix primaries and should the date of the procedure ever be used in coding the Date Therapy Initiated field?
For cases diagnosed 1/1/2003 and later: Code Surgery of Primary Site to 25 [D&C; endocervical curettage (for in situ only)]. If this is the first treatment given, the Date Therapy Initiated is coded to the date of the curettage.
First Course Treatment: If the patient receives no treatment at the time of diagnosis (either because it is not recommended or because the patient refused treatment at that time) but treatment is later instituted after disease progression, should this treatment be coded as part of the first course of treatment?
The SEER rules changed in 1998 regarding what constitutes First Course of Cancer-Directed Therapy.
For cases diagnosed on or after 1/1/98: The First Course of Cancer-Directed Therapy fields will all be coded to 0 [None] for these types of cases. The documented disease progression would stop the timeframe for inclusion of any treatment to be part of first course of therapy.
Other Therapy: What code is used to represent "gene" therapy? See discussion.
The following form of gene therapy has been described as treatment for malignant brain tumors.
Patients undergo surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. After surgery, the patients are infused with a virus that has been genetically altered so that it is not infectious and so that it contains a gene from the herpes simplex virus. The herpes gene is sensitive to a drug called ganciclovir. Once inside the brain, the genetically altered virus infects any remaining tumor cells. When this occurs, the herpes gene is established inside the cancer cells. After the virus infects the cancer cells, the patients are given ganciclovir. This drug would kill both the virus and the brain tumor cells.
Code the Other Cancer-Directed Therapy field to 2 [Other experimental cancer-directed therapy (not included elsewhere)].
Primary Site--Esophagus: What is the difference between C15.5 [Lower third of esophagus] and C15.2 [Abdominal esophagus]?
These descriptions represent the use of two different ways the esophagus can be divided anatomically. The two different systems used are illustrated in the SEER Self Instruction Manual for Tumor Registrars: Book 4. Assign the primary site code that describes the location of the tumor in the same way the tumor's location is described in the medical record.