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Report Produced: 03/26/2023 07:41 AM

Report Question ID (Descending) Question Discussion Answer
20000280 Primary Site--Breast: Is there a hierarchy for coding subsite for breast cases when there is conflicting information in the physical exam, mammogram, operative and pathology reports as to the exact location of the primary? See discussion.

Example: Two mammograms were performed. One report indicates the lesion is at 12:00 and the other indicates it is in the upper central quadrant. However, the pathology report from the modified radical mastectomy specimen indicates the mass is in the UIQ.

According to one of our physicians, when a pathologist has a mastectomy specimen with attached axillary contents, the location of the lesion (subsite) is very accurate.

Code the Primary Site field to C50.2 [upper inner quadrant]. In general, the priority for using information is pathologic, operative, and clinical findings. The pathology report would take precedence in this case.

The 2004 SEER Program Code manual will include the following instructions for determining breast subsite.

Priority Order for Coding Subsites

Use the information from reports in the following priority order to code a subsite when the medical record contains conflicting information:

1 Pathology report

2 Operative report

3 Physical examination

4 Mammogram, ultrasound

If the pathology proves invasive tumor in one subsite and insitu tumor in all other involved subsites, code to the subsite involved with invasive tumor.

20000277 Ambiguous Terminology: Should SEER's lists of ambiguous terminology be modified to reflect how pathologists and radiologists actually use these terms? See discussion. Pathologists and radiologists say the term "suggestive" is used to describe a lesion that may be malignant, and the term "suspicious" is not used to describe lesions that may be malignant. According to the physician director of our Breast Center the FDA governs the use of terminology, and the term "highly suggestive" instead of "highly suspicious" must be used if there is a greater chance that a mass is malignant.

We recognize that the way clinicians and registrars speak is often different, and that the differences vary from region to region.

Our Medical Advisory Board reviewed the lists of ambiguous terminology before they were included in the third edition of the SEER EOD and the SEER Program Coding and Staging Manual 2004. Since that time, specific terminology has been mandated for describing mammography results. We know some of these terms are discrepant with our ambiguous terminology list.

As of 2007, the standard setters (CoC, NPCR, SEER and CCCR) all use the same ambiguous terminology list. Changes to the list must be approved by the NAACCR Uniform Data Standards Committee.

20000272 Grade, Differentiation: Are anaplastic tumors always coded to grade 4, even for anaplastic brain primaries? Yes. Always code the Grade, Differentiation field to for 4 [Grade IV] for "anaplastic" tumors. Anaplastic is synonymous with undifferentiated. Refer to the example in the SEER Program Code Manual, 3rd Ed.

EOD-Lymph Nodes--Lung: What code is used to represent this field when the only information is a description of:

1. "hilar mass"

2. "mediastinal mass"

3. "enlarged" or "greater than 1 cm" used to describe any of the lymph nodes listed under code 2 in the EOD Lymph Nodes field?

For cases diagnosed 1998-2003:

Code EOD-Lymph Nodes fields as follows for the examples given:

1) 9 [Unknown; not stated] for a "hilar mass"

2) 2 [Mediastinal] for a "mediastinal mass"

3) 2 [Mediastinal] for "enlarged" or "greater than 1 cm," if used to describe any of the named lymph nodes listed under code 2 in the EOD-Lymph Nodes field.


Multiple Primaries (Pre-2007): Is an in situ tumor followed by another in situ tumor in the same location a new primary? See discussion.

Example: Six months after an in situ lesion was excised from the buccal mucosa, another in situ lesion was excised from the same area of the buccal mucosa with no mention of it being recurrent.

For tumors diagnosed prior to 2007:

Code as a second primary if the second in situ tumor occurred more than 2 months after the first, and it is not referred to as recurrent by the clinician or pathologist. There are no special rules for determining the number of primaries when an in situ lesion follows an in situ.

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.

20000268 EOD-Size of Primary Tumor--Prostate: When there are multiple nodules in the prostate, can size of tumor be based on the size of the largest nodule? See discussion. Rectal exam: Prostate enlarged, nodular and irregular. No masses. Pathology from prostatectomy: Focal nodules measuring up to 1.3 cm in diameter. Moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma. Would tumor size be 013 or 999?

For cases diagnosed 1998-2003:

Code the EOD-Size of Primary Tumor field to 013 [1.3 cm]. Code the size of a mass or nodule only when there is pathologic confirmation of malignancy. In the case you mention, the nodules were pathologically confirmed as cancer, so you would code the size of the largest nodule. If a nodule/or mass in the prostate is confirmed as cancer by needle biopsy, you would code the size of the mass or nodule.

20000265 EOD-Extension: General instructions, page 7, note 3 states: " Extent of disease information obtained after treatment with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, hormone or immunotherapy has begun may be included." Because the SEER manual does not mention radiation treatment, can we use information from a lobectomy to code EOD if a patient has neoadjuvant radiation therapy? Radiation therapy was inadvertently omitted from the list. Please see SINQ 20031012 answer as to when the surgical information can be used to stage the case.
20000262 EOD-Clinical Extension/EOD-Lymph Nodes--Prostate: How do you code clinical extension and lymph nodes for path only prostate cases treated with a TURP? Would clinical extension be coded to unknown or localized, NOS? For cases diagnosed 1998-2003: Code the EOD-Clinical Extension field to 30 [localized, NOS] and the EOD-Lymph Nodes field to 0 [no lymph node involvement]. Per Note 7: Use code 30 when there is insufficient information as to whether the tumor is clinically apparent or inapparent but the tumor is confined to the prostate. This is an example of a case where there is insufficient information as to whether the tumor is clinically apparent or inapparent. Assume the tumor is confined to the prostate.
20000261 EOD-Extension--Lymphoma: What code is used to represent a non-Hodgkin lymphoma presenting with involvement of an extralymphatic organ and lymph nodes on the opposite side of the diaphragm? For cases diagnosed 1998-2003: Code the EOD-Extension field to 31 [30 + localized involvement of an extralymphatic organ or site; Stage III E].
20000260 EOD-Size of Primary Tumor--Breast: When the pathology report does not specify dimensions for the invasive component, how is tumor size coded? See discussion. In some cases the tumor has both invasive and in situ components. The pathologist sometimes does not report the size for the invasive portion of the tumor. In most cases, the invasive portion is described as a percentage of the tumor mass. From January 1, 1998 and forward: Follow the Revised Breast EOD instructions. If the size of the invasive component is not given, record the size of the entire tumor in the EOD-Size of Primary Tumor field. Assign the appropriate EOD-Extension code for the situation.