As a member of the healthcare team, the Cancer Registrar is responsible for staying abreast of the changes in medicine, science and measures of quality control needed to ensure that patient’s receive the best care available.  One measure of the Cancer Registrar’s skills and abilities to do this is the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) certification exam.  CTR Certification is a mark of achievement and one that encourages professional pride and is nationally recognized in the recruitment and retention of cancer registry personnel. 


A Symbol of Excellence

By achieving CTR credential status, the Cancer Registrar is uniquely empowered to promote excellence in the cancer registry field by:

  • “Establishing a standard of knowledge and experience required for professional registry practice.
  • Measuring the requisite knowledge of applicants for the professional credential of Certified Tumor Registrar.
  • Encouraging professional growth and individual study by cancer registrars for the attainment and maintenance of the credential.
  • Formally recognizing colleagues who meet all requirements for using the CTR credential.
  • Assisting employers, members of the allied health professions, and the public in the assessment of cancer registrars.”  (Source:  National Cancer Registrar’s Association website)



Insider Secrets to CTR Eligibility

The CTR Certification Examination is conducted twice annually.  Before applying for the examination the Cancer Registrar must have completed a required course of study and a specified number of hands-on work hours inside a cancer registry department.  These requirements are annually updated and candidates for the examination must be familiar with the requirements on an annual basis. 

Individuals desiring to enter the cancer registry profession as a new career are often confused or even given misleading information on how to achieve CTR credential status.  Exam candidates are strongly encouraged to seek the guidance and support of an experienced, certified, Cancer Registrar to help them plan a course of action that meets the NCRA requirements and takes into account the candidate’s unique background and experience.  Learn more about Cancer Registry coaching and mentoring programs here. 


Work “Right” Not Harder

Once you have planned a course of action you will be well on your way to becoming a Cancer Registrar.  The next most important step to take is to invest in your future and career through a exam prep course.  There are a number of options for CTR exam candidates, but  programs that utilize online and self-directed study combined with teleconferences, webinars and discussion forums are geared to help the candidate work “right” to prepare them for the challenges of the examination.   Discover how to team up with “study buddies” across the United States to learn how to ace your exam  here.

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