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Cancer Registry Management
An NCRA-accredited Formal Education Program

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) developed this cancer information registry education program in a collaborative partnership with the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA).

The Cancer Registry Management program is designed for those interested in entering the cancer registry profession. Cancer Registrars possess the clinical and technical knowledge and skills necessary to maintain components of the disease-related data collection systems consistent with medical, administrative, ethical, legal, and accreditation requirements of the health care delivery system. In all types of facilities, and in various locations within a facility, cancer registrars manage and analyze clinical cancer information for the purpose of processing, maintaining, compiling and reporting health information for research, quality management/improvement, facility planning and marketing, monitoring patient outcomes, cancer program development, cancer prevention and surveillance, survival data, compliance of reporting standards, evaluation of the results of treatment, and national accreditation standards.

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be able to:

  • Accurately abstract health information into a cancer registry to allow for uniform data collection
  • Manage an effective cancer registry program at either a local, state or national level
  • Produce cancer related information to assist healthcare providers in patient care and research
  • Provide information for cancer prevention activities

The full program consists of four (4) prerequisite courses and six (6) specialty courses:

Prerequisite Courses Specialty Courses
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Computer Basics in Healthcare
  • Medical Terminology
  • Pathophysiology/Pharmacology
  • Cancer Registry Structure and Management
  • Cancer Registry Operations
  • Cancer Disease Coding and Staging
  • Abstracting Methods
  • Oncology Treatment and Coding
  • Follow-up, Data Quality, and Utilization

Program Overview

Click on the category names below to see more detail

Prerequisites Four courses listed above
Requirements -- Purchase required books (necessary for most courses) * View book list
-- Have access to certain technology
-- Obtain proctor for final exams (prerequisite courses only)
  • American Council on Education (ACE)
    College course credit is recommended for the prerequisite courses (not including A & P). * More details
  • AHIMA Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
    Successful completion of each specialty course earns 45 CEUs.
Courses Begin When payment is received and processed
Class Access Period 15 weeks — see details below
Certification Preparation See "Certification Candidates" information below

How to Register

Review the program information
Thoroughly review all of the Cancer Registry Management program information, to ensure your understanding of the prerequisites, requirements, scope of the program, and how the program works. If your questions are not addressed here, review the *  Frequently Asked Questions for this program.
Complete the CRM Prerequisite Form
ALL prospective students in the CRM program must complete a * CRM Prerequisite Form online. This form provides AHIMA with important information on how you previously completed the program prerequisites or how you plan to complete them. Submitting this form also establishes your record in our CRM Prerequisite Database, where we match incoming transcripts and track prerequisite completions. You need to complete this form only once, after which you will receive an e-mail confirmation with additional details and instructions. This form is submitted at no cost or further obligation.

Send official transcripts

If you previously completed some or all of your prerequisites at the college level with grades of "C" or better, then you should contact the school(s) to arrange to have official transcripts sent directly to AHIMA. Specific instructions and our mailing address for transcripts will be sent to you via e-mail immediately after you complete the * CRM Prerequisite Form (see Step 2 above).
Register for outstanding prerequisites
If you have not completed all four prerequisites at the college level with grades of "C" or better, you may start our CRM program by registering for the prerequisites. See "Registration Options" below.
Register for specialty courses
After you complete the prerequisites, register online for the specialty courses.

Registration Options
Click on the title of the course or cluster for descriptions and required textbooks

Class Access Period

Human Anatomy and Physiology

> Get details

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology

(One of the four program prerequisites)

15 Weeks

CRM Cluster 1:
Three prerequisite Courses


> Get details

  • Computer Basics in Healthcare
  • Medical Terminology
  • Pathophysiology/Pharmacology

(Three of the four program prerequisites)

15 Weeks to complete each course

* View activation details

CRM Cluster 2:
Three Specialty Courses


> Get details

  • Cancer Registry Structure and Management
  • Cancer Registry Operations
  • Cancer Disease Coding and Staging

15 Weeks to complete each course

* View activation details

CRM Cluster 3:
Three Specialty Courses


> Get details

  • Oncology Treatment and Coding
  • Abstracting Methods
  • Follow-up, Data Quality and Utilization

15 Weeks to complete each course

* View activation details

Individual Specialty Courses
 From clusters 2 and 3
($225.00 each)

> Get details

Register for any of the six specialty courses listed above, separate from the full cluster. (Clusters 2 and 3)

15 Weeks each course

* View activation details


The four prerequisite courses (Anatomy and Physiology and Cluster 1, above) must be completed prior to taking any of the specialty courses (Clusters 2 and 3). Students may submit transcripts if they have taken the prerequisite courses elsewhere.

  • Submit the CRM Prerequisite Form
    All prospective students must complete the * CRM Prerequisite Form before registering for any courses in this program.
  • Transcripts
    Prerequisites may be completed either through this program or a post-secondary academic institution. Students will be required to send proof of prior prerequisite completions to AHIMA. After students submit the online CRM Prerequisite Form, they will receive the mailing address for sending transcripts to AHIMA.
  • RHIAs and RHITs do not need to send transcripts
    RHIAs and RHITs have already satisfied the prerequisites for the CRM program, and will not need to submit transcripts. They must, however, submit the * CRM Prerequisite Form. After submitting the form, RHIAs and RHITs may register online for the specialty courses immediately, AND may request course activation, without awaiting prerequisite verification.
  • Prerequisite verification
    We will send an e-mail to each prospective CRM student after we receive official transcript(s), containing the status of prerequisites and eligibility to begin the specialty courses. Note that RHIAs and RHITs do not need to await this e-mail verification, but may register and activate courses immediately after submitting the prerequisite form.


Required Textbooks and Resource Manuals
One or more textbooks and/or resource manuals are required for each course in this program. Textbooks are not included in the program tuition fees. They must be purchased by the student and should be available prior to starting the associated course. Most resource manuals are provided as FREE downloads in the courses.
*  View a complete list of required textbooks and manuals.

The Cancer Registry Management courses require the use of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, Real Player, and Adobe Flash plug-ins. * Click here for links to these downloads. Note: Please be careful during the download and installation of Real Player. During these steps, we recommend that you uncheck ALL checked selections and at the end, close the setup window (use the "X" in the upper right corner) rather than selecting either setup option.

Proctored Final Exams
All final exams for the prerequisite and specialty courses must be taken under the supervision of a proctor. This means you must ask a manager, supervisor, human resources personnel, or HIM coworker to be in the same room with you as you complete your exams. If you are taking the courses outside of work, you may ask a friend to be your proctor. Spouses or family members cannot be proctors.

Detailed proctoring instructions are provided in each course.


The American Council on Education (ACE) has recommended that 3 credit hours be awarded for each prerequisite course (not including Anatomy and Physiology). It is up to each transferring institution how many credit hours are accepted.
* View a list of credits recommended for individual courses and other details.

Students may register prerequisite courses they've successfully completed with ACE. All of a student's ACE-evaluated courses are shown on one transcript with easy-to-read descriptions, credit recommendations, and suggested transfer areas. Upon request, the transcript can be released at any time to a college of the student's choice. To join the ACE Transcript Service, students must pay a one-time set-up fee of $40.00 and a nominal fee of $15.00 each time they request the release of a transcript.
* Get more info on ACE transcript services.

For American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) CEUs and American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) contact hours, students will receive a grade report (after successfully completing each specialty course) for tracking and reporting purposes.

Courses Begin

In the CRM program, each student receives access to the prerequisite courses immediately after enrollment. Students who register online and pay by credit card are immediately enrolled. Students who pay by check or purchase order are enrolled after AHIMA receives and processes the payment.

Students may register for the specialty courses at any time after they have submitted the CRM prerequisite form and transcripts, and fulfilled all prerequisites. After registering, students must log in to their class or cluster and "request course activation." Students will then need to wait up to three business days before their class or cluster will be opened. For more details:

Get more info on * activating a specialty cluster after you have registered.
Get more info on * activating individually-purchased specialty courses after you have registered.

* Get additional information on how to register.

Certified Tumor Registrar Certification Candidates

This Formal Education Program was developed by AHIMA in a partnership with the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA), to enhance learning opportunities for burgeoning cancer registrars, and to help students become eligible to sit for the NCRA's Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) certification exam under Eligibility Route A (formerly Route 2). The three requirements under Eligibility Route A are:

  1. Cancer Registry Education: Successful completion of an NCRA-accredited Cancer Registry Management Formal Education Program
  2. College Education: Successful completion of a minimum of an Associate ’s degree or equivalent (4 semesters/6 quarters)
  3. Experience: Successful completion of 160 hours of work practicum in a CTR-staffed Cancer Registry

For a list of NCRA-accredited Formal Education programs – including this program –visit www.ncra-usa.org/education/formal.htm.

For complete information on the NCRA's CTR Exam, and to obtain the CTR brochure and Exam Candidate's Handbook and Application, visit www.ctrexam.org. Be sure to take note of any upcoming changes in exam eligibility requirements.

Still have questions?

Review * Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for this program.

Review * Complete CTR Exam Information

Review the following Fact Sheets on NCRA's Web site:

* The Cancer Registry and The Registrar

* Cancer Registry Workforce Study Executive Summary

* The Cancer Registrar and Your Community


This program is developed in association with


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