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Cancer data training materials

Explore the suite of cancer training materials compiled by the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS).
Narrated slideshows

Narrated slideshows

Press F5 to play the slideshow with fully narrated audio.


This suite of training modules has been compiled by by the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) to assist both new and existing cancer data administration personnel.

Each module contains:

  • a narrated slide show
  • a PDF supporting document that includes a full narrative notes

Important Information

  1. All slideshows are 'read only' - please do not make any changes to the content. If you spot any errors please contact your regional Data Liaison Manager (below) so we can investigate and if necessary amend the master version. 
  2. Use the F5 key to view the full slideshow with the accompanying narrated audio.
  3. All resources are available to download and view on desktop, tablet and mobile phones devices. However, the audio narration may not always work on mobile phones, depending on the specification and functionality. 
  4. If you have any comments, queries or suggestions for future content please contact your regional Data Liaison Manager (below) .

Introduction to cancer data

Please select the modules of interest from the topics listed below:

Cancer system background information

This module examines what COSD is about, what happens to the data and why it is needed.


What is cancer?

This module look at how cancers start, what is meant by Grade and Behaviour, and explains the coding systems for  cancer.

Diagnosing Cancer

This module looks at the ways in which a patient might present and some of the diagnostic tools that might be needed.


The Cancer Outcomes and Services Data set (COSD) is a compiled data set which provides the standard for secondary uses information required to support national cancer registration and associated analysis (at local, regional, national, and international level), as well as other national cancer audit programmes.

The COSD specifies the data items that need to be recorded for all cancer patients by the NHS in England. This includes all the items that Providers should submit electronically directly to the NDRS on a monthly basis.

To find more about COSD visit the data set page on this website.

Please select the modules of interest from the topics listed below:

Recording a Diagnosis

This module covers both New Primary and Non-Primary pathways, looks at the difference between invasive and non-invasive diagnoses and gives detailed guidance on recording them.

Key Performance Indicators

This module highlights the key data items needed for COSD. Covering Stage, Performance Status & CNS Indication code.

FIGO Staging for Gynaecology

This module covers the gynaecological specific staging guidance.

Site specific

These modules have been designed to give an introduction to each tumour site and the terminology used by the clinical teams.

They include the relevant anatomy and physiology, regional lymph nodes, diagnosis and possible treatments as well as guidance on the ICD10 coding and grade.

Brain and CNS


Children, Teenage and Young Adult (CTYA)

Gynaecology - Cervical

Gynaecology - Ovarian

Gynaecology - Uterine

Haematology - Introduction

Haematology - Leukaemia

Haematology - Lymphoma

Haematology - Myeloma

Haematology - Appendix A, Classification

Head and neck - Oral, larynx and thyroid

Head and neck - Pharynx and nasal cavity

Lower GI - Colorectal and anal

Lower / Upper GI - Hepatobiliary

Lower / Upper GI - Small intestine





Upper GI - Oesophageal

Upper GI - Pancreatic

Upper GI - Stomach

Urology - Kidney

Urology – Renal pelvis, ureter, bladder and urethra

Urology - Prostate

Staging cancer data

The collection of accurate and complete cancer staging information is very important. The NDRS team has therefore created a series of cancer staging guidance sheets to support clinical and cancer data administration personnel with this work. 

Data liaison team

The Data Liaison team within the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) has a wealth of knowledge on cancer pathways and processes within NHS Trusts. NHS teams submitting data to NDRS can seek advice, support and find out more about the data improvement initiatives available to them directly from the regional Data Liaison Managers:

NDRS Region

Data Liaison Manager


Marianne Mollett

East Midlands

Simon Cairnes

London and South East

Katrina Sung

Northern and Yorkshire

Rachel Bethal

North West

Paul Stacey

Oxford and West Midlands

Gemma Feeney

South West

James Withers

Cancer data collection

Find out more about the work of the National Cancer Registration Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS), our data collection processes and the cancer data sets we curate:

Last edited: 21 November 2023 3:11 pm