Cancer Reporting

Pursuant to New York State Public Health Law, Article 24, Title 1, Section 2401, Cancer: duty to report.

1. Every physician, dentist, and other health care provider shall give notice immediately but not later than one hundred eighty days of every case of cancer or other malignant disease coming under his or her care, to the department… 2. Whenever an examination of a tissue specimen in a laboratory discloses the existence of cancer or other malignant disease, the person in charge of such laboratory or the person making such examination shall immediately but not later than one hundred eighty days report the same together with all the facts in connection therewith to the department.

As mandated by the Public Health Law, all NYS licensed health care providers and practitioners diagnosing or treating cancer patients, all licensed facilities at which patients are treated (e.g., hospitals, radiation centers), all laboratories holding permits to conduct pathology testing (whether independent or hospital-based), and all managed care organizations are required to report cancer cases to the New York State Department of Health Cancer Registry. The New York State Cancer Registry (NYSCR) collects the demographic, diagnostic, and treatment information on patients diagnosed and/or treated in New York State and checks the provider and practitioner cancer case reports for quality and completeness. The data are then used to produce New York State cancer statistics.

Reporting Requirements

Providers and practitioners are required to report the following conditions:

  • Each form of malignant cancer, EXCEPT basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma originating in skin of non-mucoepidermoid sites
  • Each form of in situ cancer, EXCEPT for carcinoma in situ of the cervix uteri, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 (CIN III), and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, grade 3 (PIN III)
  • Benign, borderline/uncertain behavior, and malignant PRIMARY tumors originating in any of the following sites:
    • Meninges
    • Brain
    • Spinal cord, cranial nerves, and other parts of CNS (central nervous system)
    • Pituitary and pineal glands and the craniopharyngeal duct
  • Each form of lymphoma, leukemia, and other malignant blood conditions — i.e. chronic myeloproliferative diseases, including polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia, and myelodysplastic syndromes including refractory anemia
  • Serous and mucinous tumors of borderline/uncertain behavior originating in the ovaries

Cancer Reporting and HIPAA Privacy Rule

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) allows cancer data that can identify patients to be reported to public health entities. Thus health care facilities and practitioners can report data to the NYSCR, which is a public health entity, in compliance with state law. HIPAA does not require written informed consent from each cancer patient reported to public health entities.

Reporting cancer cases to the NYSCR is the same as reporting communicable diseases to a local public health authority. See the Federal Register, v.65, no. 50: Uses and disclosures for which consent, an authorization, or opportunity to agree or object is not required. (a) Standard: Uses and disclosures required by law. (b) Standard: Uses and disclosures for public health activities.

Information for Physicians

For assistance with reporting, call the NYS Cancer Registry Field Services Unit at 518-474-0971 or email mdreports@health.state.ny.us.

Information for Laboratories

Cancer cases can be submitted by laboratories using the Electronic Clinical Laboratory Reporting System (ECLRS). Any questions regarding cancer reporting requirements and electronic submission of cancer laboratory data using ECLRS should be directed to the NYS Cancer Registry Field Services Unit at 518-474-0971.

Information for Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Hospitals, and Radiation Treatment Centers

For assistance with reporting call the NYS Cancer Registry Field Services Unit at 518-474-0971 or email nyscr@health.state.ny.us

For Additional Assistance

For further assistance, call the NYS Cancer Registry at 518-474-0971 or email nyscr@health.state.ny.us.