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Report Produced: 03/29/2023 06:43 AM

Report Question ID Question Discussion Answer (Ascending)
20041038 Reportability--Bladder: Is "low grade papillary urothelial neoplasm with no evidence of invasion" reportable to SEER? "Neoplasm" means "new growth," not malignancy. A low grade papillary urothelial NEOPLASM with no evidence of invasion [8130/1] is not reportable to SEER. However, a low grade papillary urothelial CARCINOMA with no evidence of invasion [8130/2] is reportable.
20051026 Surgery of Primary Site--Skin: What surgery code is used to reflect the amputation of a finger for subungual melanoma? 47 [Wide excision or reexcision of lesion or minor (local) amputation with margins greater than 2cm] is the correct surgery code for amputation of a finger for melanoma.

SEER Manual/Reportability--Ambiguous Terminology:  Please clarify the reportability and relevant date ranges of the following ambiguous terminology: almost certainly, most certainly, and malignant until proven otherwise.  See Discussion.

SINQ 20180104 indicates, in the absence of further info, the terms “almost certainly” and “until proven otherwise” are NOT reportable. There is no date range provided for this answer.

SINQ 20200027 indicates, in the absence of further info, the term “most certainly” IS reportable. There is no date range provided for this answer.

SEER Program Coding and Staging Manual 2022 indicates, in the absence of further info, the terms “until proven otherwise” and “most certainly” ARE reportable.

Essentially, we are hoping for an update of SINQ 20180104 due to 2022 reportability change. Clarification to the equivalence of “almost certainly” and “most certainly” would also be helpful.

Use the ambiguous terminology list as a guide in the absence of additional information after reviewing all available information and consulting the physician who diagnosed and/or staged the tumor. 

Equivalent to "Diagnostic for" malignancy or reportable diagnosis

  • most certainly carcinoma
  • malignant until proven otherwise

Not Equivalent to "Diagnostic for" malignancy or reportable diagnosis

  • almost certainly ("almost" conveys uncertainty in comparison to "most" as in "most certainly")

We will update SINQ 20180104.

20110073 MP/H Rules/Multiple primaries--Sarcoma: Does a prior clinical diagnosis of a metastatic deposit for a previously diagnosed sarcoma have priority if the diagnosis on a subsequent resection (18 months later) indicates it is also a sarcoma but does not state it represents metastasis from the original sarcoma primary? See Discussion.

1/28/08 Patient was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma in the right gluteus muscle. Metastatic tumors were found in a vertebral body and in the lung. Chemotherapy was started.

4/22/08 PET scan done to evaluate response to chemo. The primary tumor had increased in size. New mass in the left thigh that was highly suspicious for metastasis found. (The left thigh tumor was not accessioned at that time as it was described as a metastatic tumor.)

7/3/09 Left thigh tumor was resected and path revealed spindle cell sarcoma. There was no mention that it represented metastasis.

Does the left thigh tumor represent a new primary per rule M12? Or does the previous clinical description of the left thigh tumor representing metastasis have priority?

this is a single primary per Rule M1. According to our expert pathologist, "if multiple solid tissue tumors are present (sarcomas), then almost always there is one primary and the rest are metastases. There are infrequent occasions of multifocal liposarcoma or osteosarcoma occurring, but the patient would be treated as a patient with metastatic disease."

The steps used to arrive at this answer are:

Open the Multiple Primary and Histology Coding Rules manual. For a soft tissue primary, use one of the three formats (i.e., flowchart, matrix or text) under the Other Sites MP rules to determine the number of primaries because soft tissue primaries do not have site specific rules.


Rule M1 states, "It is not possible to determine if there is a single tumor or multiple tumors, opt for a single tumor and abstract a single primary." Given the information from the expert pathologist, this case should be reported as a single primary applying this rule.


Reportability--Pancreas: Is this reportable? Is this benign? If reportable, what histology code and behavior code should be used? A final pathology diagnosis reads: "Cystic pancreatic endocrine neoplasm (CPEN)".

"Cystic pancreatic endocrine neoplasm (CPEN)" is reportable. Assign 8150/3 based on the information provided. We consulted our expert pathologist and he states "Since metastases have been reported in a few, and all the rest of the pancreatic endocrine tumors are now designated malignant, …we are safe considering them /3 until proven otherwise. Since most of them are non-functioning, [assign code] 8150/3 unless specified as to G1 (8240/3) or G2 (8249/3)."


Reportability--Brain and CNS:  Is "Lhermitte-Duclos disease" is reportable? See discussion.

The MRI states "Lhermitte-Duclos disease" but does not include "dysplastic gangliocytoma of cerebellum"; is this the same as "Lhermitte-Duclos dysplastic gangliocytoma of cerebellum (C716)"?

"Lhermitte-Duclos disease" alone can be interpreted as "Lhermitte-Duclos dysplastic gangliocytoma of cerebellum (C716)" and reportable. The WHO classification for CNS tumors lists this entity as "Dysplastic gangliocytoma of the cerebellum (Lhermitte-Duclos disease)" signifying that the terms are used synonymously.


Reportability/AmbiguousTerminology: Because there is a caveat in the SEER PCM, 3rd edition to ignore adverbs such as "strongly" when assessing reportability, should a term such as "likely" cancerous be reportable given than the expression "most likely" cancerous is reportable?

"Likely cancerous" is NOT reportable.

The CoC, NPCR and SEER have agreed to a strict interpretation of the ambiguous terms list. Terms that do not appear on the list are not diagnostic of cancer.

20081033 Ambiguous terminology: Is the phrase "malignancy is highly considered" reportable given that the phrase "considered to be malignant" is reportable per SINQ 20061094?

"Malignancy is highly considered" is not a reportable ambiguous term.

Diagnoses qualified by the phrase "considered to be malignant" are reportable because this phrase is interpreted as "This diagnosis is malignant."


Reportability/Histology: Would a histology reading "Well-differentiated neuroendocrine neoplasm" of the appendix be reportable? Since the word "tumor NOS" and "neoplasm NOS" both code to 8000, I would assume they would be interchangeable but just wanted to verify.

According to SINQ 20130027 & 20140002 a "Well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumor" of the appendix IS reportable.

"Well-differentiated neuroendocrine neoplasm" of the appendix is reportable. According to the WHO classification of Digestive System Tumors, "Well-differentiated neuroendocrine neoplasm" of the appendix is synonymous with NET. WHO states on page 13 "The term 'neuroendocrine neoplasm' can be used synonymously with 'neuroendocrine tumor.'"

Neuroendocrine "tumor," or NET G1, is listed in the WHO classification as one of the malignant neoplasms of the appendix.