Cancer datasets and tissue pathways

The College's Datasets for Histopathological Reporting on Cancers are vital for standardising cancer reporting methods among pathologists. These datasets define the range of acceptable practice in handling pathology specimens, and enhance cancer diagnosis and treatment quality. 

Cancer datasets encompass structured collections of data related to cancer patients. Tissue pathways are instrumental in defining best practices when handling pathology specimens from patients who do not have cancer. These guidelines are pivotal in raising the bar for healthcare standards in pathology.

TNM 8 was implemented in many specialties from 1 January 2018. A full list of staging systems to be used (by specialty) is available in the Recommendations from the Working Group on Cancer Services on the use of tumour staging systems and Recommended staging to be collected by Cancer Registries (see right hand column).

Please note that head and neck tumours diagnosed after 1 January 2018 should continue to be reported using TNM 7. 

Webinar programme: Guidance for implementation of new and revised guidelines  

The Professional Guidelines Team is launching an online learning programme to further support pathologists with the implementation of new and revised clinical guidelines. Click here for more information and to book a place onto one of the upcoming webinars.

Endocrine system


Gastrointestinal tract


Gynaecological tract

Head and neck


As the 2022 revised minimum dataset for reporting of cancers of the oropharynx and nasopharynx does not include the hypopharynx, we have also retained the old minimum dataset for reporting of cancers of the pharynx (2013) for reference.  This will be removed once the new minimum dataset for reporting of cancers of the larynx and hypopharynx is published.




Urinary tract and testis