Skip to content Skip to navigation
National Cancer Data Base - Data Dictionary PUF 2014

AJCC Pathologic M

PUF Data Item Name: 
TNM_PATH_M
NAACCR Item #: 
900
length: 
4
Allowable values: 
Alphanumeric, Uppercase
Description: 
Identifies the pathologically-determined absence or presence of distant metastasis (pM) as defined by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).
Registry Coding Instructions: 

·         Refer to the applicable AJCC Cancer Staging Manual for coding rules.
 

Analytic Note: 

For cases diagnosed on or prior to December 31, 2003, this item was expected to be completed by an attending physician, though registry staff were frequently involved in the determination of the information coded in this item though the review of full range of clinical and patient notes available to registry staff.  For cases diagnosed January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2007, the CoC required registries to copy the staging elements from a standardized document found in the patient record, as recorded by the managing physician.  
 
Beginning with 2008 diagnoses, the rules changed again.  Physicians were no longer required to stage, but cancer committees in CoC programs were required to devise plans to ascertain that staging was used appropriately to make treatment decisions.  Registries were encouraged to record physician staging when it was available, but were not required to do so.  The CoC determined that the stage groups derived from the Collaborative Stage Data Collection System met the criteria expected of pathologic staging, in  providing an AJCC "final stage".  PUF users are likely to see a decrease in the completeness of pathologic staging recorded in the "AJCC" staging items in the years following 2008.
 
Cases are coded using the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual edition in use during the year in which the case was diagnosed.  Consult the appropriate edition of this manual for organ or site specific codes and their definitions.  See AJCC TNM Edition Number (NAACCR Item #1060).  Prior to implementation of the 5th edition of the manual, some "slippage" in version was allowed, such that some codes for cases diagnosed the year prior to implementation of a given edition and the year following its replacement may also have codes from the edition.
 

Codes on this list comprise all codes valid for any AJCC manual through the 7th edition and for any chapter.  Please consult the applicable manual and chapter for codes that are valid for specific site, histology and AJCC edition combinations.
 
There is no standard mechanism to recode AJCC items from one edition to another.  Careful review of the individual definitions in the respective AJCC manuals is necessary before combining or comparing data across two or more AJCC editions.
 
 

Code

Definition

Blank

Not available in patient record. No positive pM.  Not collected (2008+).

X

pMX

0

pM0

0I+

pM0(i+)

1

pM1

1A

pM1a

1B

pM1b

1C

pM1c

1D

pM1d

88

Not applicable (not defined)