2021 Standards for Oncology Registry Entry (STORE) It Is Not That Bad!

2021 Standards for Oncology Registry Entry (STORE): It Is Not That Bad!

In the total scheme of things, the changes to STORE 2021 for cancer cases diagnosed in 2021, and for some fields in 2020, are less dramatic than the changes seen in the cancer registry industry in 2018. This blog will group these changes and make them more manageable so take a deep breath and relax.

Data items removed From STORE 2021

There were 56 data items removed from STORE 2021. Of these 56, 53 are required by NAACCR, SEER or CMS and are not going away from data collection and abstraction. Three items were CoC required items that were merely administrative and will make little to no impact on registry workload.

New data items in STORE 2021

There are four new COVID-19 fields for cases diagnosed in 2020 and 2021, and perhaps beyond depending on the pandemic. If any 2020 cases were abstracted prior to receiving the NAACCR V21 update to the cancer registry database software you use, a limited re-abstraction of those cases for the COVID-19 fields will be needed. Some registries did collect COVID information in text fields AND if the correct data was collected, a review of text with coding in the COVID fields may be all that is needed.

This will impact workload to a limited extent and will be highly dependent on accessible information in the electronic health record. These fields will make oncology data more relevant thus making oncology data work more relevant. How exciting this is – to have oncology data provide information on a new disease process!

AJCC / TNM post therapy clinical (yc) data is also a group of new fields. This would include ycT, ycN, ycM and associated suffixes if applicable. There is no ycStage Group as there is not yet enough data to develop stage groups. This will be collected on a small percentage of cases and will probably not significantly impact workload. These data are important to collect as treatment patterns have changed and will continue to change as new information, treatment, and technology leads into new directions.

Changes to code

Phase I, II and III Radiation Modality field has a change in code. 2018 code 99 has been broken into 2021 Code 98 – Radiation administered, modality unknown, and 2021 code 99 – Unknown if radiation was administered. This change appears to be self-evident as one code reflects treatment given and the other code questions whether treatment was given. There will be little to no impact of workload for this field.


Multiple fields have had word changes to help explain, clarify or represent the data item. There is no impact to workload.

Change to coding instructions

There are four fields where the instructions for coding have been changed. These are Date 1st Surgical Procedure, Radiation/Surgery Sequence, Systemic/Surgery Sequence and RX Summary Treatment Status. Initially there will be an increase in workload due to these changes. As registrars adjust to the new coding and the new coding becomes “second nature,” the increased workload will revert to the load prior to the change.

How is one to manage the STORE 2021 changes and keep workflow moving?

  1. Read the manual – but not necessarily the whole manual (see #4).
  2. Mark what is “new to you” so that you can learn, remember, and utilize.
  3. LEARN and CHANGE – you cannot provide quality data without learning and changing.
  4. View the Ciox webinar, Managing the 2021 STORE Changes, recording for more detailed information on these changes and how to manage them.
  5. Download the Reference Guide for STORE/SEER Manual COVID-19 & STORE SSDI 

Ciox customizes oncology services to improve timely data input and survey compliance. Learn more about our Comprehensive Cancer Registry Management Services. Contact us at solutions@cioxhealth.com.

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