Minnesota Cancer Reporting System (MCRS)
MCRS Cancer Reporting Requirements
“Minnesota Cancer Reporting System” (MCRS) is the new name of Minnesota’s statewide cancer registry, which, since 1988, was known as the Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System (MCSS). The new name corresponds to the completely new registry system that became operational on May 1, 2017, and emphasizes the two-way nature of reporting in MCRS: medical providers report data to MCRS, and MCRS analyzes and reports meaningful statistics to Minnesotans. MCRS now relies on the same software as the cancer registries supported by the National Cancer Institute. The new system means that MCRS can now focus much more on enhancing the use of the data, rather than keeping the system up-to-date with the changes in data structures and formats needed to capture the rapid progress in how cancer is diagnosed and treated.
The requirements for reporting cancer to MCRS remain the same:
- Medical providers and facilities are still legally required to report the cancers that they diagnose or treat (at any point in a patient’s journey through the disease)
- The definition of cancer has not changed
- The methods for reporting cancer information to MCRS remain the same
- The requirement to report the data in a timely fashion has not changed
- The list of required data items is published once a year in the Minnesota State Register, as well as on this web page
For more information on reporting cancer requirements, please see the Legislative Authority page.
For MCRS, cancer means any in situ or malignant neoplasm, with these exceptions:
- Basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin other than genitalia are excluded
- In situ and intraepithelial neoplasms of the uterine cervix are excluded
- All brain and other central nervous system neoplasms, whether benign or malignant, are included
Reports usually contain a diagnosis of cancer in specific terms. However, when the diagnosing physician is not certain whether the tumor is benign or malignant, the following qualifying terms determine whether a diagnostic report should be sent to the MCRS. As of 1/1/2011, cytology-based diagnoses qualified with any of the terms from either list below are not reportable.
- Comparable with
- Compatible with
- Consistent with
- Malignant appearing
- Most likely
- Suspicious (for)
- Typical of
- Cannot be ruled out
- Potentially malignant
- Rule out
- Very close to
Microscopically-confirmed cytological diagnoses of cancer are reportable regardless of whether the primary site is known. If a pathology report contains no diagnosis of active malignant tissue or cells but indicates that there was a prior malignancy of this site, no report is necessary.
MCRS staff work with each institution to review pathology report files and accession records to assure accurate and complete data reporting.
Types of Reports
All types of pathology reports must be reviewed to select those containing a diagnosis of a reportable cancer. This includes laboratory reports of:
- Surgical biopsy and excision
- Bone marrow
- Slides for consultation
- Peripheral smear
- Flow cytometry
- Electron microscopy
- Tumor markers, including but not limited to cytogenetics, immunoassays, etc.
- Synoptic reports, for example CAP protocols
For cancers without microscopic confirmation, the following reports must be reviewed:
- Imaging reports, for example MRI and CT reports
- Clinical notes, for example identified via MRDI review
Data Items Required by the MCRS
All of the data items that are known by the reporting entity are required to be reported to the MCRS. Data items may vary by the reporting source. For example, pathology laboratories would report specimen date, pathology report number, etc.; and cancer registries would report class of case, sequence number, etc.
MCRS Public Notice of Required Data Items (PDF)
- Cancer Registries- How to Submit Data to MCRS
- Pathology Labs- How to Submit Data to MCRS
- Meaningful Use with MCRS