Lung Cancer in South Dakota: Breathing Free in South Dakota.

South Dakota Cancer Registry


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the SDCR?

The South Dakota Cancer Registry (SDCR) is South Dakota's statewide cancer surveillance system. The data are used to monitor cancer trends, target cancer control and prevention programs, provide a research base for studies into cancer causes and ultimately to reduce death and illness due to cancer.

What kind of cancer cases are reported?

All malignant cancers must be reported to SDCR. All cancer cases diagnosed and/or treated in South Dakota since January 1, 2001 must be reported to the registry. Benign brain and central nervous system tumors diagnosed and/or treated since January 1, 2004 must be reported. For specific detail about reporting requirements, see SDCL 1-43-11 through 1-43-18 and ARSD 44:22.

What kind of data is collected?

For each cancer case diagnosed or treated in South Dakota, the registry collects data including diagnosis, stage of disease, medical history, patient demographics, laboratory data, tissue diagnosis and radiation, and surgical or other methods of diagnosis or treatment.

Cases are reported electronically. The SDCR provides free internet abstracting software that meets the requirements for reporting of cancer cases. SDCR follows national standards to assure consistency in case reporting from facility to facility.

Who is required to report cancer cases?

State law, SDCL 1-43-14, requires licensed hospitals, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurse midwifes, pathology laboratories, and free-standing radiology centers that detect, diagnose, or treat cancer South Dakota to report to the SDCR.

Who does the actual data collection?

Data collection, or abstracting, is performed by specially trained personnel. Currently, Certified Tumor Registrars (CTRs) abstract most of the cancer cases in the state. Other data collection personnel are trained by SDCR or though other recognized training programs. SDCR offers training for incidence abstracting as needed.

What about patient confidentiality?

SDCR adheres to strict security measures to assure confidentiality of patient and institutional records. Under state law, SDCL 34-14-3, it is a Class I misdemeanor to disclose such records.

Who uses SDCR data? What is it used for?

SDCR data are used by researchers, health planners, epidemiologists, physicians, legislators, medical students and others to:

  • Monitor the incidence and mortality of cancer to detect potential public health problems;
  • Inform and educate by providing descriptive data on cancer incidence and mortality to health professionals and the general public about risks, prevention, and early detection of cancers known to be elevated in their communities;
  • Guide decisions about how to use public-funded cancer control resources by more accurately targeting intervention resources for communities and patients and their families; and
  • Respond to public concerns.
Where can I find more information about specific cancers?

Contact the American Cancer Society or call 800- 4CANCER (800-422-6237).