Cancer Data Center


The SBCH Cancer Data Center is one of the major components of the multi-disciplinary cancer program at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The purpose of the Center is to collect, manage, and analyze the hospital’s cancer experience, in addition to supplying data for special audits, studies and administration planning.


During 2012, the last year for which complete data is available, the Cancer Data Center abstracted 1,024 cases. Of these, 912 of those cases were analytic cases with the initial diagnosis and/or first course of treatment at Cottage. Another 112 cases were non-analytic cases of recurrent or persistent disease diagnosed elsewhere and initially treated before our reference date or elsewhere. A total of 32,557 cases have been entered into the database since the reference date of January 1, 1988. Overall data accuracy remained high (99 percent and above) as reported by the California Cancer Registry.


The cancer database includes in each case: patient demographics, primary site, histology, predisposing factors, and collaborative staging. It also includes American Joint Commission on Cancer (AJCC) staging, first course of therapy, disease recurrence, subsequent therapy, and a lifetime of follow-up.


The Cancer Data Center is mandated by law to submit cancer data to the California Cancer Registry. The data is also submitted to the American College of Surgeons (ACOS) Commission on Cancer as part of a nationwide effort to collect information for the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB). Through these means, cancer data provides national statistics for incidence reporting and research. The cancer program coordinator can assist with developing criteria and ascertaining the appropriate data and reports requested by members of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital’s medical staff who undertake studies within their areas of special interest.


The information collected also provides Cottage with the ability to assess the community’s needs as well as giving the community the ability to see how well our physicians and hospital compare to the national average.


Each patient in the database is followed annually in order to acquire necessary information on recurrences, subsequent treatment and survival data that is vital for continued patient care. Through the process of annual follow-up, the importance of continued medical supervision is conveyed to the patient.


Active follow-up is conducted on approximately 9,600 cases annually and the successful follow-up rate is maintained at 90 percent or higher.



Glossary of Terms


Survival Analysis

Actuarial survival method provides a mean for the use of all follow-up information accumulated until the close of the study and provides additional information on the survival pattern of the group under study.


Class of Case


Cases that are first diagnosed and/or receive all or part of their first course of treatment at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. These cases are included in all statistical reports.


Cases that have been diagnosed and have received their entire first course of treatment elsewhere and are first seen at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for recurrent, persistent or metastatic disease, or were first diagnosed at autopsy. These cases are not generally included in statistical reports.


First course of treatment

The initial cancer-directed treatments or series of treatments planned and usually initiated within the first four months following diagnosis.


American Joint Committee On Cancer TNM Staging Summary (varies with primary site)

Stage 0   Carcinoma in situ; a tumor that fulfills all the microscopic criteria for malignancy except invasion.

Stage I    Localized disease with no evidence of lymph node or distant spread.

Stage II   Generally, direct extension of disease without lymph node extension.

Stage III   Generally, lymph node extension but may have direct extension also.

Stage IV   Generally, any tumor with distant metastasis.

Unknown  Tumors that cannot be staged due to lack of diagnostic documentation.