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National Cancer Data Base - Data Dictionary PUF 2016

AJCC Pathologic Stage Group

PUF Data Item Name: 
NAACCR Item #: 
Allowable values: 
Alphanumeric, Uppercase
Identifies the pathologically-determiend anatomic extent of disease based on the T, N, and M elements 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 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 through the review 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, 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 cancer 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 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 Code cont. Definition cont.
0 pStage 0 2C pStage IIC
0A pStage 0A 3 pStage III
0IS pStage 0is 3A pStage IIIA
1 pStage I 3B pStage IIIB
1A pStage IA 3C pStage IIIC
1A1 pStage IA1 3C1 pStage IIIC1
1A2 pStage IA2 3C2 pStage IIIC2
1B pStage IB 4 pStage IV
1B1 pStage IB1 4A pStage IVA
1B2 pStage IB2 4A1 pStage IVA1
1C pStage IC 4A2 pStage IVA2
IS pStage IS 4B pStage IVB
2 pStage II 4C pStage IVC
2A pStage IIA OC Occult
2A1 pStage IIA1 88 Not applicable
2A2 pStage IIA2 99 Unknown
2B pStage IIB Blank No pathologic staging for this case
(2008+ only)