Thirty-three years ago, Sharon Thomas, ODS-C, started in the Cancer Registry at as a Follow-up Clerk. It did not take long for her to expand her career, passing the ODS exam in 1991. Currently, she is the Senior Cancer Registrar at the University of Florida Shands Hospital in Gainesville, where she is responsible for abstracting pediatric cases. Sharon willingly shares her years of knowledge with the other registrars by answering questions and clarifying the multiple changes in the abstract. She also assists in developing and keeping quality control in the registry.

Sharon comes highly recommended by her supervisor Marcia Hodge, ODS-C, Director Registry Operations at UF Health Shands who tells us, “I can’t say enough great things about her, and she certainly deserves to be recognized for her hard work and dedication. I couldn’t do my job without her.”

The things that motivate Sharon the most about the Cancer Registry profession is the constant changes and opportunities to learn something new on almost a daily basis. She appreciates being part of a team whose goal it is to increase cancer patient outcomes and she loves the closeness of the cancer registry community. Her proudest moment was earning her ODS certificate and maintaining it throughout the years.

However, there is one detail about cancer data collection that Sharon wishes would change. One day, she hopes, the standard setters will all be on the same page and eliminate conflicting rules.

In her spare time, Sharon loves to hang out with her two daughters and her mother. She loves Disney, swimming and reading.

When asked what one thing she would like to share with other registrars, Sharon says, “Always record the patient’s history accurately. There is a chance that your text could influence the course of the patient’s treatment.”