What Do Cancer/Tumor Registrars Do?
Cancer/tumor registrars compile and maintain records of patients treated for cancer. They utilize a tumor registry data system that is used by physicians, government agencies, and researchers. Cancer/Tumor registrars review patient records to identify and compile patient data for use in cancer management programs and to comply with government regulations. They review and code information from patient medical records, such as demographic characteristics, history and extent of disease, diagnostic procedures, and treatments. They may also contact discharged patients, their families, and their physicians to ensure the registry includes follow-up information, such as quality of life and length of survival of cancer patients. Cancer/tumor registrars also prepare statistical and narrative reports and graphic presentations of cancer/tumor registry data for use by hospital staff and researchers.
Where Do Cancer/Tumor Registrars Work?
Cancer/tumor registrars work in cancer registries, which may be at institutional (e.g., hospitals), state, or regional organizations, or as consultants when they are certified as cancer/tumor registrars.
What Do Cancer/Tumor Registrars Earn?
In 2022, the average annual income reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for health information technologists and medical registrars in the United States was $65,280. The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) reports that, in 2023, health information technologists and medical registrars in New York earned a median annual salary of $64,320 (health information technologists and medical registrars in the 25th percentile made approximately $43,732 while those in the 75th percentile made approximately $98,683).
For more information on salary considerations for cancer/tumor registrars, go to: www.ncra-usa.org/Advocacy/Workforce/Salary-Considerations
Supply and Demand
According to the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) website, there are over 5,000 cancer registrars in the U.S. Excellent potential for employment growth continues in government agencies, as well as insurance, pharmaceutical, and other health care industries as accurate, timely data increasingly impact cancer control efforts. Cancer/tumor registrars who possess knowledge of management and administration, medical sciences, medical coding, programming, database management, and data retrieval and analysis will find a ready market for those skills.
Cancer/tumor registrars are sometimes trained on the job or most often in formal education programs and online courses. Curricula may include courses on cancer and its management, cancer program management, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, biostatistics and epidemiology, cancer data abstracting, database record management, and cancer registry procedures. Most hospitals and central cancer registries require their employees to hold the CTR credential. Individuals may be hired without having the CTR credential, though most employment opportunities do ask for it.
New York Certification/Licensure Requirements
New York has no licensure requirements for cancer/tumor registrars. Individuals wishing to demonstrate proficiency in their occupation may receive certification through national organizations such as the NCRA: http://www.ncra-usa.org/CTR.
Limited financial aid and scholarships are available from colleges and from other organizations that provide cancer/tumor registrar training. In addition, the NCRA Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the mission of supporting the advancement of the cancer registry profession through education and research. The Foundation supports its mission by assuring education, training, and resources are available for cancer registry professionals in order to provide quality data. More information may be available at their website: http://www.ncra-usa.org/Foundation
Education Programs in New York (subject to change)
At this time, there are no schools in New York offering this education program.
Additional Web Links
For more information on cancer/tumor registrars, go to
National Cancer Registrars Association: http://www.ncra-usa.org;
New York Cancer Registrars Association (NYCRA): nycra.net
North American Association of Central Cancer Registries: http://www.naaccr.org/;
National Program of Cancer Registries: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/npcr/index.htm.