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Staging Data

Cancer Care Ontario uses a data collection method called collaborative staging to capture cancer stage data elements directly from patient records. These data are collected via remote access to regional cancer centres and community hospitals throughout Ontario, as well as from Cancer Care Ontario data holdings (ePath and other source records for the Ontario Cancer Registry). The collaborative staging method is consistent with the TNM staging system.  

How It Works

The collaborative staging data collection system retains the raw data elements such as the exact tumour size, number of positive lymph nodes and involvement of specific tissues or adjacent structures. The computer algorithm then derives the TNM stage, frequently combining clinical and pathologic data elements to generate a “best stage”.  

Regional cancer centres submit TNM data to Cancer Care Ontario for patients diagnosed and treated at those centres who have cancers not being staged at Cancer Care Ontario using collaborative staging. The use of collaborative staging within Cancer Care Ontario augments the process of reporting stage at diagnosis for all cancer patients in the province regardless of where they were seen.   

To learn more about stage reporting and to access staging guidelines, see the Staging Resources section. 

For more information on stage and stage data, please email