Rochester Community and Technical College’s Cancer Registrar Program Provides Influence on the Medical Field

A new program at the Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) in Minnesota provides an opportunity for people to become a cancer registrar. The job allows registrars to have an influence on the medical field, without working directly with patients.

As reported by the Post Bulletin, registrars record a wide range of demographic information, as well as an individual's medical history, diagnosis, and treatment. This data informs treatment and efficacy, survival rates and broader public health trends and epidemiological research.

Sara Holton

"It basically tells a story about how a patient was diagnosed," said Sara Holton, one of the program's instructors, and an Operations Manager at Mayo Clinic's Cancer Quality Program, of the data they input into the registry.

RCTC added the program in the fall of 2016, becoming one of 10 colleges to offer a certificate or degree option throughout the country. There are about 7,200 registrars in the field currently, with about 800 new openings expected in the next 15 years to meet the needs of a larger and older population with the expected increased incidence of cancer. Today, about 75 students in southeast Minnesota, and throughout the country, are currently enrolled in the RCTC program.

Anna Sanh

According to Anna Sanh, an RCTC student and a Histology Technician in the Mayo Clinic Renal Biopsy Laboratory in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, "It impacts everybody directly or indirectly. Everybody knows somebody that has or has had it. Bringing all the information together for doctors to look at and improve patient care; you're not working with patients directly, but it's rewarding."

Kelley Luedke

Kelley Luedke is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her kitty, and exploring new foods.