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OSCaR Overview
Purpose

The purpose of the registry shall be to provide information to design, target, monitor, facilitate, and evaluate efforts to determine the causes or sources of cancer among the residents of Oregon and to reduce the burden of cancer and benign brain tumors in Oregon.


Mission

To advance policies, environments and systems that promote health and prevent and manage chronic diseases.


Vision

All people in Oregon live, work, play and learn in communities that support health and optimal quality of life.



OSCaR FAQs

Why was OSCaR established?

What does OSCaR do?

What is a statewide, population-based cancer registry?

What is reportable?

Who reports cases?

What kinds of patient information are collected?

Why does OSCaR need patient identifying information?

Who has access to patient information?

What is the benefit of being enrolled in a cancer registry?

How can a patient participate in research?



Why was OSCaR established?

Every year, thousands of Oregonians are diagnosed with cancer. Being able to identify who is diagnosed statewide is important in the development of ways to help prevent and control cancer. OSCaR is a population-based reporting system that collects and analyzes information about cancer cases occurring in Oregon. Oregon was one of the last states to develop a statewide cancer registry. Located in the Oregon Health Services, OSCaR was established by the 1995 Oregon legislature and began collecting information on all cancers diagnosed in Oregon as of January 1, 1996. The legislation defines the purpose of OSCaR as:

  • providing information to design, target, monitor, facilitate, and evaluate efforts to determine the causes or sources of cancer among the residents of Oregon; and
  • reducing the burden of cancer in Oregon.

Data from OSCaR provide an overview of all cancers diagnosed in Oregon. This information is useful for cancer prevention programs, clinicians, policy makers, and the public for understanding the impact of cancer among Oregonians. In addition, OSCaR is a source of data for researchers who are conducting their own studies into the causes and/or treatment of specific types of cancers.

 

What does OSCaR do?

  • Provides accurate cancer data for public health policy-making and epidemiological research and investigation efforts related to cancer control efforts.
  • Provides surveillance of cancers addressed by cancer prevention or early detection programs for targeting and evaluating control.
  • Tracks cancer incidence and treatment trends in Oregon.
  • Assesses suspected cancer clusters or cancer hazards in local communities.
  • Supports efforts by community hospitals, health systems, and community-based cancer prevention programs by providing statistics on the distribution of cancer cases by type and treatment.

 

What is a statewide, population-based cancer registry?

  • A statewide, population-based cancer registry collects cases of reportable cancer [Cancer Reporting Regulations: Oregon Administrative Rules] occurring in a defined population (i.e., Oregon residents).
  • In August 1995, the Oregon Legislature unanimously passed legislation making cancer a reportable disease. Reporting began January 1, 1996.

 

What is reportable?

  • All invasive malignant neoplasms and specified benign neoplasms of the brain and CNS are reportable.
  • All in-situ carcinomas, except carcinoma in-situ of the cervix uteri, and basal and squamous cell carcinoma in-situ of the skin.
  • VIN 3, VAIN 3, AIN 3 (squamous intraepithelial neoplasia Grade 3) and, juvenile astrocytoma, pilocytic astrocytomas, and piloid astrocytoma are reportable.

 

Who reports cases?

Information processed by OSCaR comes from a variety of sources including: hospital cancer registries, state cancer registries, ambulatory surgical centers, physician offices, vital statistics, pathology laboratories, hospital medical record departments, and the US Census. Approximately 75% of Oregon's cancer cases are collected by established hospital cancer registries and are reported to OSCaR. The statewide, population-based cancer registry collects the remaining 25% from non-registry hospitals, outpatient clinics, physician offices, and neighboring state registries diagnosing or treating Oregon residents.

 

What kinds of patient information are collected?

The value of the Registry depends upon having accurate, individually identifiable information. Only cancer related information is collected. The following is part of each OSCaR record:

  • Patient name, address, age, sex
  • Type/characteristics of the cancer
  • Details of the diagnosis
  • Treatment given

 

Why does OSCaR need patient identifying information?

Patient identifiers are important because about one-third of all cases of cancer are diagnosed and/or treated in more than one hospital. This means that duplicate reports are submitted to OSCaR. Without patient identifiers on the report, Oregon would appear to have a higher cancer rate since it would be impossible to tell whether a case had already been reported.
 

Who has access to patient information?

Confidential information is protected by federal and state laws. Information collected by OSCaR is very secure from public disclosure and cannot even be subpoenaed by a court of law. However, the data without personal identifiers is always available to researchers to assist them in cancer research. 
 

What is the benefit of being enrolled in a cancer registry?

By collecting information about patients' diagnoses and treatment of cancer, it is possible to learn more about the disease and effective treatment. Patients enrolled in a cancer registry also have the opportunity to participate in cancer research.
 

How can a patient participate in research?

Each patient will receive a Research Participation Reply Form asking their willingness to participate in research projects. Those who decide "yes" will be contacted by a researcher directly if a research project for which they are eligible becomes available. Those who decide "no" will never be contacted. If the form is not returned, researchers will consult with the patient's physician before contacting the patient.