ICD-10-CM Code C78

Secondary malignant neoplasm of respiratory and digestive organs

Version 2021 Non-Billable Code

Not Valid for Submission

C78 is a "header" nonspecific and non-billable code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of secondary malignant neoplasm of respiratory and digestive organs. The code is NOT valid for the year 2021 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

Short Description:Secondary malignant neoplasm of resp and digestive organs
Long Description:Secondary malignant neoplasm of respiratory and digestive organs

Consider the following ICD-10 codes with a higher level of specificity:

  • C78.0 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of lung
  • C78.00 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of unspecified lung
  • C78.01 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of right lung
  • C78.02 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of left lung
  • C78.1 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of mediastinum
  • C78.2 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of pleura
  • C78.3 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of other and unspecified respiratory organs
  • C78.30 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of unspecified respiratory organ
  • C78.39 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of other respiratory organs
  • C78.4 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of small intestine
  • C78.5 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of large intestine and rectum
  • C78.6 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of retroperitoneum and peritoneum
  • C78.7 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of liver and intrahepatic bile duct
  • C78.8 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of other and unspecified digestive organs
  • C78.80 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of unspecified digestive organ
  • C78.89 - Secondary malignant neoplasm of other digestive organs

Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries

The Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is a list of ICD-10 codes, organized "head to toe" into chapters and sections with guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code C78:

Type 1 Excludes

Type 1 Excludes
A type 1 excludes note is a pure excludes note. It means "NOT CODED HERE!" An Excludes1 note indicates that the code excluded should never be used at the same time as the code above the Excludes1 note. An Excludes1 is used when two conditions cannot occur together, such as a congenital form versus an acquired form of the same condition.
  • secondary carcinoid tumors of liver C7B.02
  • secondary carcinoid tumors of peritoneum C7B.04

Type 2 Excludes

Type 2 Excludes
A type 2 excludes note represents "Not included here". An excludes2 note indicates that the condition excluded is not part of the condition represented by the code, but a patient may have both conditions at the same time. When an Excludes2 note appears under a code, it is acceptable to use both the code and the excluded code together, when appropriate.
  • lymph node metastases C77.0

Code Classification

  • Neoplasms (C00–D48)
    • Malignant neoplasms of ill-defined, other secondary and unspecified sites (C76-C80)
      • Secondary malignant neoplasm of resp and digestive organs (C78)

Code History

  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016
    (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020
  • FY 2021 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2020 through 9/30/2021

Information for Patients


Also called: Carcinoma, Malignancy, Neoplasms, Tumor

Cancer begins in your cells, which are the building blocks of your body. Normally, your body forms new cells as you need them, replacing old cells that die. Sometimes this process goes wrong. New cells grow even when you don't need them, and old cells don't die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass called a tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren't cancer while malignant ones are. Cells from malignant tumors can invade nearby tissues. They can also break away and spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis. Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is. Most treatment plans may include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Some may involve hormone therapy, immunotherapy or other types of biologic therapy, or stem cell transplantation.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

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