The CoC Source - January 31, 2012
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Time to Update the Facility Information Profile System (FIPS) Level I Data!

It is time for facility staff to review and update the Facility Information Profile System (FIPS) Level I data fields for 2012. The CoC suggests facilities set a deadline of March 1, 2012, for this initial 2012 Level I update, and that the data then be reviewed quarterly so that the most current resources and services offered at the facility are displayed on the CoC Hospital Locator.  Designated staff with CoC Datalinks access can log into CoC Datalinks and update FIPS Level I data at any time throughout the year.

FIPS Level I data consists of the following categories: 

  • Facility Contact Information
  • Cancer-Related Specialists
  • Diagnostic Services
  • Surgical Procedures
  • Radiation Oncology Services
  • Medical Oncology Services
  • Cancer Rehabilitation Services
  • Supportive Services and Groups
  • Healthy Lifestyle and Prevention Programs
  • Screening and Early Detection Programs
  • Research Activities

There is a FIPS Glossary posted on the CoC Datalinks Activity menu to help you define the Level I data items. After making your selections, remember to click "Save" at the bottom of each screen. The selections your cancer program makes will be available to patients through the CoC Hospital Locator accessible from the CoC website at

FIPS Level II data: Cases Reported to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) by Site and Stage

The FIPS Level II data table, found under the FIPS menu selection “Cases reported to NCDB by site and stage,” is currently available for 2009 cases. A total of 1,065 cancer programs have elected to release their 2009 data table for display on the CoC Hospital Locator.  The 2009 data tables will be replaced with 2010 data when the National Cancer Database (NCDB) has finished processing this month’s data submissions.  CoC-accredited cancer programs will receive a notice in March or April when the 2010 Level II Site and Stage data becomes available for release.

If you have questions, e-mail or call 312/202-5085.

Welcome to 2012! Time to Implement the New Commission on Cancer Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care

Since we are approaching the end of January, all CoC-accredited programs will have downloaded or purchased a copy of Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care and are taking steps to implement the standards in their program. If you have not received the manual, click here, to obtain a free electronic copy.

We encourage the cancer committee to set aside time to review and discuss a portion of the standards at each 2012 cancer committee meeting. It is important to pay close attention to the standards with a 2015 phase-in period so that implementation plans can be developed this year.

The phase-in standards are:
    1.9: Clinical trial accrual
    3.1: Patient navigation
    3.2: Psychosocial distress screening
    3.3: Survivorship care plan
    5.1: Cancer registrar credentials

It is also essential that the cancer committee review the requirements, and begin assembling documentation, for the Eligibility Requirements which are described on pages 33-38 of the manual.  When the newly designed Survey Application Record (SAR) is released in July, 2012, all CoC-accredited cancer programs will be asked to complete the Eligibility Requirements portion of the SAR and attach related documentation showing how each Eligibility Requirement is being met.

The CoC provides numerous educational resources to assist programs as they implement the new standards.  We encourage programs to take advantage of the following resources:
Standards webinars available through the Online Education Portal at
CAnswer Forum available at
Best Practices Repository available at
or by attending the Survey Savvy workshop scheduled for March 8-9, 2012, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown, Chicago IL. Access the workshop brochure and registration information at

We acknowledge that some of the changes outlined in the 2012 standards are significant, and identifying the best methods to implement the changes will be challenging for programs.  However, these changes are helping the CoC and the CoC-accredited programs to become more focused on supporting patients with cancer and their needs, which are vital issues to address.


Best Practice Repository Cancer Program Standards 2012

Have you seen the Best Practice Repository 2012 lately?  We have worked diligently to develop, review, and post examples and resources to help cancer programs meet the CoC Program Standards. More than 20 new documents appear on the repository this month, from quality control plans, policy and procedures, to grids and templates. If you haven’t been on the site lately, please check it out.

Although we currently have many best practice examples and links to resources posted for many of the standards, our goal is to have a best practice example or resource for each standard.  We encourage all accredited programs to share their examples and resources by submitting them to the Best Practice Repository e-mail address, Once a document(s) is submitted for best practice consideration, the accreditation team will review its appropriateness.  An e-mail confirmation will be sent out, along with a permission request that requires a signature returned to us allowing CoC to post the document(s).  After the CoC receives the signed permission, the document will be sent to the Standards Advisory Group (SAG) for final review. SAG will make the final decision for postings to the best practices repository. The process might take a few weeks.


Highlighting the 2012 Standards Chapter 2: Clinical Services

Clinical services chapter is a group of standards that illustrate both structure and services needed to ensure that high quality care is provided to patients with cancer. 

Let’s explore the first two standards.

Standard 2.1 – College of American Pathologist Protocols

The Commission on Cancer continues to support use of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) protocols by requiring 90 percent of eligible pathology reports that include a cancer diagnosis contain required data elements as outlined in the appropriate surgical case summary checklist.  For CoC-accredited programs, this means any pathology report created by the program from resected specimens with either

  • an invasive histologic diagnosis
  • ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) histologic features

Diagnostic biopsy specimens, cytology specimens, special studies and in situ tumors (except DCIS) are excluded.

Pathology departments should be encouraged to use synoptic format as defined by the CAP cancer committee.  Use of synoptic format remains a commendation in the 2012 Cancer Standards, but it should be noted that the percentage of pathology reports in synoptic format has increased from 90 percent to 95 percent.  Annually, cancer programs are to conduct a quality control review of a random sampling of pathology report eligible for CAP protocols to document compliance with this standard.  This review may be delegated by the cancer committee to the pathologist(s) who are members of the cancer committee and who report quality control activity and summary of findings to the cancer committee as part of the regular quality control activity. 

Documentation includes completion of the SAR as well as surveyor review of eligible pathology reports during the survey.  This on-site review will include path reports selected from eligible analytic cases for the three most recent complete years of abstracting (excludes 2010 and January, February, and March cases).  A maximum of 30 reports will be reviewed.

As mentioned above, the rating for this standard includes commendation.  In addition to demonstrating that 90 percent of cancer pathology reports contain the required data elements as outlined in the CAP protocols, 95 percent of these reports must follow the synoptic format defined by the CAP cancer committee.  The commendation for this standard is part of the Outstanding Achievement Award criteria.

Standard 2.2:  Nursing Care

Treatment of cancer is dynamic as demonstrated by the continuous introduction of new cancer treatment protocols and improvements in the delivery of care.  This evolving knowledge and its associated risk require ongoing education and an evaluation process for oncology nurses. 

Traditionally, nursing education is based on resources from the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), some of which are listed in the new standards manual.  This education focuses on knowledge necessary to administer cancer treatments in a consistent and safe manner as well as caring for the patient across the continuum of care.  Oncology nursing certification for all nurses providing oncology care is strongly encouraged.

To properly document nursing education and competency, the cancer program will update the SAR annually and be prepared to discuss the availability of oncology nursing education curricula and policies for evaluating nursing competency with the surveyor.  These oncology specific competencies should be evident in the documentation provided.

Compliance, a rating of 1, for this standard is demonstrated by fulfilling all of the following:

  • Nurses with specialized oncology knowledge and skill are available
  • Organizational policies and procedures to evaluate oncology nurse competency are in place
  • Nursing department leadership evaluates nursing competency annually
  • This competency is reported to the cancer committee and reflected in the minutes

For 2012, a rating of 1+ (commendation) is available for this standard.  For commendation, 25 percent of chemotherapy-trained nurses employed by the facility (including full-time, part-time or PRN) hold a current oncology nursing certification from the list referenced in Definition and Requirements.

The remaining two standards in this chapter, Risk Assessment and Genetic Counseling and Palliative Care are new standards around patient services.  These will be discussed in the next issue of the CoC Flash.

Next month – Chapter 2: Clinical Services, Standards 2.3 – 2.4.


Cancer Liaison Physician New Role Now Effective

New Standard 4.3, Cancer Liaison Physician Responsibilities, is now effective. Standard 4.3 provides that the primary responsibility of the Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) is to monitor, interpret, and report their program’s performance using National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) data to evaluate and improve the quality of care at their facility. CLPs are to present a report to their cancer committees at least four times per year. The NCDB Hospital Comparison Benchmark Reports, Survivor Reports, and the Cancer Program Practice Profile Reports can be used for this purpose. (Note that due to the recent concerns related to National Cancer Database (NCDB) reports resulting in taking the reports offline, the reporting requirement for the first quarter of 2012 has been suspended. See Dr. Philip Roland’s letter to CLPs in this issue.) Secondarily, the CLP will be responsible for reporting on CoC activities, initiatives, and priorities to the cancer committee; serving as liaison for the cancer program with the American Cancer Society; and being present during the CoC survey and meeting with the surveyor.

Please be sure to complete the educational webinars series on the CoC Online Education Portal to become familiar with your new role and learn how to use the NCDB reporting tools. The webinars are more fully described below.

Any questions about the new role can be directed to


Letter to Cancer Liaison Physicians from Dr. Phil Roland

Dear Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP),

You’ve likely heard about recent concerns related to National Cancer Database (NCDB) reports.  Specifically, the Hospital Comparison Benchmark Reports, Survival Reports, and the Cancer Program Practice Profile Reports (CP3R) have been temporarily taken off-line.  The NCDB staff identified a problem with data processing that could lead to inaccurate reports.  This concern does not affect the integrity of the actual data, and NCDB staff is working to correct the problem by the second week of February.  If your cancer program participates in the Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS), you are not affected by this reporting concern.

As CLP, we are asked to report and discuss our cancer program’s performance related to NCDB reporting tools with our cancer committee at least quarterly.  This requirement has been suspended for the first quarter of 2012.  May I suggest you take this opportunity to introduce some of the new Patient-Centered Standards to your cancer committee?  The new standards addressing Survivorship, Patient Navigation, and Psychosocial Distress Screening have been designed with direct patient benefit in mind.

We should plan to resume quarterly reporting using NCDB tools in April, 2012.  You can find brief educational videos on using the NCDB at the CoC Online Education Portal.  Thank you for your continued service to the Cancer Liaison Physician Program and the Commission on Cancer.


Phil Roland, MD
Chair, Committee on Cancer Liaison
CLP, St. Francis Hospital, Hartford, CT

CLP Webinar Series

The Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) webinar series consists of five webinars. The last few issues of the CoC Flash featured descriptions of the first three webinars. This issue will describe the fourth webinar in the CLP educational series, Putting the National Cancer Data Base Tools to Work.  This practical webinar poses sample queries and shows how the NCDB tools can be used to answer them.  The Hospital Benchmark Comparison Reports, Survival Reports, and Cancer Program Practice Profile Reports are explained and demonstrated. Ideas and examples of CLP reports to the cancer committee are illustrated.

This 17-minute webinar will help the CLP to develop queries for reports to their cancer committee, use the NCDB quality reporting tools to mine performance data, and develop quality of care metrics based on the data.

You can access this webinar through the CoC Online Education portal at Additional required CLP webinars on the portal include Orientation to the Cancer Liaison Physician Role: Focus on Improving the Quality of Cancer Care; Becoming an American Cancer Society Liaison; How to Navigate the National Cancer Data Base Tools: A Primer; and Analyzing and Reporting Your Cancer Program's Quality Data.

Please note that there is no longer an access code for the webinars. You can simply log into the CoC Online Education Portal, set up an account or go into your existing account, and select the webinar you want. If you have already registered for the webinar, it is archived in “Your Account” and can be accessed from there. The website for webinars is not the same as CoC Datalinks. You must create a separate account in the Online Education Portal. Detailed instructions can be found at

Questions on the webinar series can be directed to


2012 Cancer Program Standards Overview Slide Set Now Available

A slide set that provides a broad overview of the 2012 Cancer Program Standards is now available on the Cancer Liaison Physician Information Board. CLPs can use the slide set for presentations to their cancer committees or other groups.

Are You Reporting Surgical Procedures Accurately?

Often patients will undergo two or more surgical procedures to remove their cancer.  In this situation, the information submitted to CoC and to state and regional central registries must show the cumulative effect of both or all surgical procedures.  Three items are affected and apply to the reporting hospital and in summary: Surgical Procedure of the Primary Site, Scope of Regional Lymph Node Surgery, and Surgical Procedure/Other Site.  It is important for registries to take care in recording subsequent first course surgeries cumulatively and to understand the relationships between “first surgery” and “most definitive surgery of the primary site.”

Two examples will help clarify the code requirements:

•    Breast carcinoma.  On September 14, Hospital C performed a lumpectomy (Surgical Resection of the Primary Site, 22) along with a sentinel node biopsy (Scope of Regional Lymph Node Surgery, 2).  The sentinel lymph node biopsy was positive, and Hospital D resected the axillary lymph nodes (Scope of Regional Lymph Node Surgery, 4 or 5) three days later.

Hospital C will record the sentinel lymph node biopsy as facility-specific regional node surgery (code 2), and record code 7 (Sentinel node biopsy and code 3, 4 or 5 at different times) for the summary lymph node surgery.  Hospital D will record code 7 both for facility-specific lymph node surgery and for summary lymph node surgery to represent the cumulative effect of the two regional lymph node surgeries.  Do not enter 4 or 5 for this event, or you will fail to represent the very important fact that a sentinel node biopsy was performed earlier. 

If the same hospital performs both surgeries, it is still important to assign code 7 to represent the second lymph node surgery, because that code is the one that should be submitted to NCDB or the state.

The Date of Most Definitive Surgery of the Primary Site is not affected by the subsequent lymph node surgery; that item only records dates for primary site surgery.

•    Melanoma of skin.  Hospital A treated the patient with MOHS surgery and referred the patient to Hospital B where a wide excision was performed.

Hospital A reports the facility-specific treatment of MOHS surgery (35 or 36 for Surgical Procedure of the Primary Site).  Hospital B will report its facility-specific treatment as a wide-excision (45, 46 or 47).  Both hospitals report the summary primary site surgery as a wide-excision.  For both hospitals, the Date of First Surgery is the date the MOHS procedure was performed, and the Date of Most Definitive Surgery of the Primary Site is the date of the wide-excision.

On occasion the same code value will apply to both the first and subsequent surgical procedure due to the coding structure.    While the surgical codes “at this facility” and “summary” may be the same, the dates for the first procedure and most definitive primary site procedure will be different.  The most definitive procedure of the primary site is always the last, and always is described as the cumulative effect of all tissue removed in that or an earlier procedure.

If the program wants the registry to record the nature of the specific surgical procedure as defined by the hospital, when a prior procedure might affect the correct code as defined in FORDS, a special use item can be established in the registry software for that purpose.  It is never appropriate to re-define standard codes, whether from FORDS or other registry standard-setters, to meet local purposes. If that were to happen, the registry’s data would no longer be capable of being compared to other data sources.

RQRS Workshop - March 7, 2012

RQRS Pre-Survey Savvy Workshop- Including Presentations and Best Practices on Integrating RQRS into your Cancer Program by Three Expert RQRS Users

Are you considering joining the other 250 CoC accredited programs enrolled in RQRS? Are you a new RQRS participant with questions on how to effectively use the system within your cancer program?  Do you want to learn the benefits of using RQRS with your existing abstracting timelines (concurrent abstracting is not a pre-requisite)?

This highly interactive session includes presentations from three RQRS participating programs explaining how they have implemented and found success using RQRS.  CoC Staff will outline how to enroll, submit data, and use the multiple features of the system.  Presentations will specifically address how these programs have used RQRS to:

  1. Enhance patient navigation (2012 Standard 3.1)
  2. Improve patient care and quality improvement (2012 Standards 4.5 – 4.8)
  3. Successfully modify registry SOPs to actively track patient care

If you want to learn about any of these topics and have a chance to ask current RQRS users and CoC staff all of your questions, join us:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
1:00 – 5:00 pm
American College of Surgeons headquarters
28th Floor, Board of Regents Room
Chicago, ILA
$200 with Survey Savvy registration/$250 for only the workshop


Molly Gabel, MD, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ
Nancy Johnson, MSM, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, Savannah, GA
Patti Owens, MN, RN, Northside Hospital, Atlanta, GA
Erica McNamara & Andrew Stewart, Commission on Cancer, National Cancer Data Base, Chicago, IL

For more information click here:

Click here to register with credit card online.

Survey Savvy Workshop - Register Now!

CoC Survey Savvy Workshop
The 2012 Patient-Centered Standards
Thursday, March 8, 8:00 am-5:00 pm
Friday, March 9, 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Chicago, IL

Are you due for survey in 2012 or 2013 and have unanswered questions on the new standards? Are you looking for clarification and best practice examples? Then this Survey Savvy workshop is for you!

This two day CoC Survey Savvy Workshop will examine the new standards in-depth. Interpretation, change, and requirements will be discussed for each standard and participants will have the opportunity to speak with the experts individually to discuss their questions. This workshop will also provide the participants with tools, resources, and examples to facilitate implementation and enhanced performance with the new standards. By attending this workshop participants will have a clear understanding of:

  1. Change in categories
  2. Eligibility requirements
  3. The new focus - Patient-Centered Standards
  4. The intent of the standard
  5. How to meet the requirements for the standard
  6. What documentation is required to show compliance
  7. The importance of data quality
  8.  How to use CP3R tools to measure performance

And much more!

Additional sessions include the RQRS Workshop on Wednesday, March 7, from 1:00-5:00 pm at the American College of Surgeons headquarters. Registration fee for this is $200 with Survey Savvy and $250 for only the workshop.

You can also sign up for the free New Program Breakfast, scheduled for 7:00-8:30 am, Friday, March 9.

For more information and to register visit:

Now Available: New On-Demand Webinars to Support the CoC Standards

We are excited to launch our new On-Demand Webinar Series in support of the Cancer Program Standards 2012. You can purchase these new webinars for the low introductory rate of $42.50 each through the end of February. Visit to learn more and purchase one or more webinars. 


AJCC Staging Moments Can Help Fulfill CoC Standards

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) has developed a series of PowerPoint presentations called Staging Moments that present case-based scenarios and walk through the proper staging of each case. They are available for free download directly from the AJCC home page, There are three cases on breast, lung, colorectal, melanoma, and head and neck. 

These PowerPoint presentations are a great educational resource to demonstrate staging in a real world scenario. For CoC-accredited facilities, the Staging Moments presentation can be used to help fulfill 2012 standard 1.10.

Standard 1.10      Each year the cancer committee offers at least 1 cancer-related educational activity, other than cancer conferences, to physicians, nurses, and other allied health professionals.  The activity is focused on the use of AJCC or other appropriate staging in clinical practice which includes the use of appropriate prognostic indicators and evidence-based national guidelines used in treatment planning.

So rather than asking faculty or staff to develop a presentation based on staging a specific disease site, a CoC facility can utilize one of the 15 presentations that AJCC has already developed. Using one of the site-specific presentations in an educational meeting, as described above in the standard, will help a facility meet the CoC Standard requirement. We encourage you to download the AJCC Staging Moments and use them in your educational activities. 

For questions about the AJCC Staging Moments, please contact For questions about CoC standards, please contact

Free Collaborative Stage Educational Webinars Available on February 1

Beginning February 1, 2012, seven on-demand webinars on Collaborative Stage (CS) will become available through the Education Portal and will be available for complimentary viewing to the entire registry community.  These seven webinars will be available for viewing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The topics include, CS 101, Eval Codes Explanations and Examples, Part  1 Section 1 Coding Instructions: Overview and Update,  Part 1 Section II Coding Instructions: Site Specific Factors and Molecular Markers, Site Specific Schemas: Bladder, Kidney, and Testis, Coding Factoids and FAQs, Site-Specific Factors: Stomach and Esophagus, and Myeloma.

The CS webinars will be free, but will require creating an account and registration. If you have already viewed one of the AJCC or CoC webinars through the Education Portal, then you already have an account and will be able to add the CS webinars to your cart and begin viewing right away. Any technical problems that arise, such as logging in or creating an account, will be handled by CommPartners. You can contact them directly at to address your issue.

Questions on the content of the webinars should be posted on the CAnswer Forum in the appropriate section or disease site. Before posting a question, we encourage you to look through the CAnswer Forum to see if your question has already been asked and answered. 

Going forward, the CS Education and Training Team is working on more focused educational offerings centered on difficult concepts that emerge from CAnswer Forum and the Reliability Study.  The delivery method for these shorter programs is still under review by the Education and Training Team. Podcasts, YouTube videos, short embedded videos on the CS website, and partner websites are all under consideration based on registrar feedback.   

The CS Education and Training Team is committed to developing relevant CS education for the registry community and to utilize a multitude of delivery methods to ensure that every registrar has access to a variety of CS education. Our goal is to ensure CS education is accurate, accessible, and informative. With these goals in mind, the CS Education Team has already begun brainstorming new ideas and would welcome input from registrars. Suggestion for educational topics can be sent to

Be sure to view the seven CS webinars here:

For technical support, please contact

CS Education at NCRA 2012 Annual Meeting

The CS Education and Training Team will once again be represented at the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) Annual Meeting this year in Washington, DC.  The CS Education and Training Team is excited to bring informative and interactive educational sessions to the NCRA meeting and the team hopes to make the most of the opportunity to educate the registry community.  The main framework of topics has already been selected for this meeting but the help of the registrars is needed to ensure that the specific topics addressed in these educational sessions cover the most relevant and important issues.

The CS Education and Training Team asks registrars to participate in a short survey to gather input todevelop the educational presentations.  The CS Education and Training team would like to learn what registrars see as the most difficult to understand for Site Specific Factors (SSFs) and Part 1 Section 1 of the CS Coding Instructions..  Please take a few minutes and go to

The survey will close February 10, 2012 so please be sure to complete it before then if you would like to participate. For any questions about the survey, contact



NAPBC Developing Data Collection Standard for 2012

NAPBC Standard 6.2 – Quality Improvement will require reporting annual aggregate performance levels for six measures that have been identified by the NAPBC Quality Improvement and Information Technology Committee beginning in mid-2012.  A data collection page will be added to the Survey Application Record (SAR) that will require all NAPBC-accredited breast centers, and centers applying for accreditation, to enter this information on an annual basis.

The six quality measures are outlined below:





Radiation therapy is administered within 1 year (365 days) of diagnosis for women under age 70 receiving breast conserving surgery for breast cancer.


Combination chemotherapy is considered or administered within 4 months (120 days) of diagnosis for women under the age of 70 with AJCC T1c, Stage II or III hormone receptor negative breast cancer.


Tamoxifen or third generation aromatase inhibitor is considered or administered within 1 year (365 days) of diagnosis for women with AJCC T1c, Stage II or III hormone receptor positive breast cancer.


Needle/core biopsy is performed prior to surgical treatment of breast cancer.


Breast conservation surgery rate for women with AJCC Stage 0, I or II breast cancer.


Radiation therapy is considered or administered within 1 year (365 days) of diagnosis for women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer with four or more positive regional lymph nodes. 

The surveyor will confirm compliance with this standard during the medical record review portion of the on-site visit.

The NAPBC SAR data collection page will be pilot-tested in early 2012 and rolled out to all accredited centers and centers applying for NAPBC accreditation by mid-2012. Additional educational resources will be made available prior to implementation. This standard is also discussed extensively at the NAPBC Workshop – Pursuing Excellence through Accreditation.

Back by Popular Demand – Pursuing Excellence through Accreditation

Due to numerous requests, the National Accreditation Program of Breast Centers (NAPBC) has scheduled another workshop, Pursuing Excellence through Accreditation, to be held at the American College of Surgeons headquarters in Chicago, IL, on Friday, June 29, 2012. This workshop will provide detailed information related to the NAPBC components and standards, survey process, and the new quality measures and related requirements. Attendance at this workshop will assist centers applying for accreditation, as well as centers due for reaccreditation in 2012 and beyond. 

Detailed information will be presented by NAPBC board members, surveyors, and staff. Most importantly, there will be a detailed presentation specific to the NAPBC components and standards, including an outline of the requirements in order to meet compliance with each standard. The workshop will also incorporate any changes to the standards so that there is a clear understanding of what is expected and how it will be measured. Another detailed presentation titled What to Expect on the Day of Survey will walk you through a site visit from a surveyor perspective. Learn about what the surveyor is looking for during different aspects of the survey.   

Pursuing Excellence through Accreditation is designed for individuals involved in the delivery of multidisciplinary breast health care, including physicians, nurses, administrators, cancer registry professionals, and others involved in the day-to-day operations of the breast center.

Contact the NAPBC by e-mail at or by phone at 312-202-5185 to be placed on the list of individuals to be notified when the workshop brochure is available and when the online registration link is ready to accept registration. 

As these workshops are always well-attended and seating is limited, enrollment will be on a first come, first-served basis.

NAPBC Exhibit Schedule

The NAPBC will be exhibiting at the following national meeting:

National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC)
March 10-14, 2012

Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort
Las Vegas, NV

Stop by the exhibit hall at any one of these meetings and pick up an NAPBC Information Kit or additional information about the program. 

NAPBC Partners with the National Consortium of Breast Centers

Quality care has become the new definition of value in health care. Initiatives to assess quality care exist for breast centers as a program and for each clinical discipline. Each program has a spectrum of measures designed to assess their own discipline. Most quality programs reside as stand-alone programs but in the future, synergy among programs will produce collaboration and increased consistency in quality care. An overview of the quality assessment landscape helps choose which programs to engage.

A special preconference meeting titled National Recognition for Breast Centers of Excellence: Service Line Optimization will be held in conjunction with the National Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference. This meeting will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11, 2012 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Speakers on Saturday, March 10, will include well-known national leaders in quality breast health care. Presentations will include discussions of a number of quality initiatives available to track quality improvement over time. On Sunday, March 11, the NAPBC will continue the theme of quality breast health care and has invited speakers to discuss the programs within the breast center model that contribute to quality breast health care, including building a multidisciplinary team, discussing the NAPBC components and standards that are required for NAPBC accreditation, continuity of care and how survivorship programs augment multidisciplinary care, the importance of genetic counseling, and a discussion of NAPBC accreditation.

You may download a copy of the program brochure at  You will find the download in the left hand column.  Or you may contact the National Consortium of Breast Centers for more information and to enroll for this very comprehensive educational meeting or contact the NAPBC administrative office at



American Cancer Society News

Cancer Facts and Figures – 2012 Now Available from the American Cancer Society

Cancer Facts and Figures
provides a concise summary of frequently used cancer statistics, including the widely cited estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in the current year, general information on leading cancer sites (signs and symptoms, risk factors, prevention, early detection, and treatment), and information on major cancer risk factors, such as tobacco use, nutrition, and physical activity.

The special section featured in the 2012 Cancer Facts and Figures focuses on cancers with increasing incidence trends in the United States.  The academic version of this report, Cancer Statistics 2012, which appears in the society’s peer-reviewed journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicans, is one of the most highly cited papers worldwide.

An electronic version of Cancer Facts and Figures 2012 is now available on the American Cancer Society’s website at The Cancer Statistics 2012 article is available on the journal's website at:

Updated American Cancer Society Nutrition Guidelines

The American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention are published about every five years in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and are developed by a national panel of experts in cancer research, prevention, epidemiology, public health, and policy.  The guidelines reflect the most current scientific evidence related to dietary and activity patterns and cancer risk and also review the evidence on diet and physical activity factors that affect risks for select cancers. There is also a section on common questions about diet, physical activity, and cancer from coffee and dietary supplements to garlic, fiber, and irradiated foods.

The guidelines include four major recommendations, each of which includes several supporting recommendations:

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life.

  • Be as lean as possible throughout life without being underweight.
  • Avoid excess weight gain at all ages. For those who are currently overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.
  • Engage in regular physical activity and limit consumption of high-caloric foods and beverages as key strategies for maintaining a healthy weight.

Adopt a physically active lifestyle.

  • Adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week, or an equivalent combination, preferably spread throughout the week.
  • Children and adolescents should engage in at least one hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous intensity activity occurring at least three days each week.
  • Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, and watching television and other screen-based entertainment.
  • Do some physical activity above usual activities, no matter what one’s level of activity;it can have many health benefits.

Consume a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods.

  • Choose foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit consumption of processed meat and red meat.
  • Eat at least two and a halfcups of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.

If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit consumption.

  • Drink no more than one drink per day for women or two per day for men.

The updated Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention are available online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians at


NCRA 2012: United We Stand in Education, Advocacy, and Professional Development

The National Cancer Registrars Association’s (NCRA) Annual Education Conference will be held April 18-21, 2012, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, DC. The conference will include cutting-edge plenary sessions, timely panel discussions, informative breakout sessions, and an exhibit hall showcasing the newest in cancer registry products and services. The educational sessions provide the training needed to keep cancer registrars up-to-date with changes in the industry. The sessions are organized into four topic areas: central registry, hospital registry, professional development, and informatics. Examples of the sessions include:

•    Enhancing Cancer Registry Data for Comparative Effectiveness Research
•    Taking Aim at the New Site-Specific Factors in the Collaborative Staging for Colon Caner
•    Endobronchial and Endoscopic Ultrasound: Its impact on Staging and Clinical Care for the Thoracic Patient
•    Searching for Evidence-Based Oncology Data: Tips and Tools for the Cancer Registrar
•    Meeting the Demands of Cancer Registries Today: Making It Happen with What You Have
•    Understanding CAP Protocols: Compliance and Commendation with the CoC Standard

With more than 30 sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to earn up to 20 continuing education (CE) credits. Several workshops have also been designed to meet specific training needs, including two preconference workshops: Central Cancer Registry: Design, Management, and Use Workshop and the SEER Workshop: Advanced Topics for Registry Professionals. The Fundamentals of Abstracting Workshop is designed for registrars with six months to two years of experience and runs concurrent with the conference.

The Walk on the Hill: A Day of Advocacy

The location of the annual conference in Washington, DC, provides a unique opportunity for National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) members to visit Capitol Hill and educate members of Congress on what cancer registrars do. The Walk on the Hill: A Day of Advocacy is Thursday, April 19. NCRA will arrange a meeting with attendees’ members of Congress, provide materials to share during the meeting, and offer training to learn more about the best approaches for an effective Hill visit. NCRA will also provide transportation to and from Capitol Hill and will grant electronic access to any educational sessions missed while at the meeting. For those interested in participating, e-mail NCRA at


Two scholarship programs are available to assist members in attending the conference. Both cover the full conference registration fee, round-trip coach airfare, and hotel for three nights. The Danielle Chufar Memorial Annual Conference Scholarship is named in memory of the NCRA staff member who passed away in February 2004 from cancer. The James A. Bradley Memorial Scholarship is named in honor of the father of Bob Bradley, the president of MedPartners HIM. The application deadline for the James A. Bradley Memorial Scholarship is February 17, 2012; the Danielle Chufar Scholarship application deadline is February 24, 2012.

To learn more about the conference—registration, hotel, travel, workshops, and scholarships—go to

SSO Will Sponsor Cancer Symposium, March 21-24, in Orlando, FL

The Society of Surgical Oncology will hold its 2012 annual cancer symposium, March 21-24, at the Orlando World Center Marriott, in Orlando, FL. Symposia topics will include the contralateral prophylactic mastectomy dilemma; quality and cost in cancer care; the future of surgical oncology education; what surgical oncologists need to know about sun and tanning booths; and using health care systems to improve cancer outcomes

An event highlight will be a full-day mini-course on Wednesday, March 21, geared toward community-based surgical oncologists and their multidisciplinary teams. The course will include presentations by academic and community-based physician experts; a dinner symposium covering the role of physician extenders in the surgical oncology practice; and a debate regarding cytoreduction and Hyperthermic IntraPEritoneal chemotherapy for colorectal cancer, transanal excision for rectal cancer, and margin width in breast-conserving surgery. There will also be two tumor boards on colorectal cancer and palliative surgery.

For more information on the symposium and to register online, CLICK HERE.

Executive Training on Navigation and Survivorship Planned

Precourse Webinar
March 5, 2012

Executive Training
March 19-20, 2012

The George Washington University ● Washington, DC

The George Washington University Cancer Institute will host a two-day executive training that program titled Executive Training on Navigation and Survivorship: Finding Your Patient Focus. The course will equip decision makers and program leaders with the tools needed to launch and sustain navigation and survivorship programs, two cornerstones of patient-centered care. Participants will learn strategic planning techniques for developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining patient navigation and survivorship programs. The training combines distance-learning and traditional classroom instruction to fully maximize participants' time. Prior to the in-person training, participants engage in an online webinar discussion that will lay the foundation for the two-day skill development training.

At the conclusion,, participants will walk away with a business plan for either a survivorship or patient navigation program that will enhance the patient focus of their organization. The program is ideal for clinicians, administrators, program managers and staff of institutions that provide care to cancer patients and survivors and those who are looking to or in the process of establishing navigation and/or survivorship programs. Register online today to secure a seat. For questions and additional information, please contact Elisabeth Reed,, or 202-994-4088.  More information on caSNP programs can be found at

American College of Radiology Updates Appropriateness Criteria

The American College of Radiology has released the newest version of the ACR Appropriateness Criteria® (ACR AC), which includes 33 updated topics and one new topic from various expert panels. There are now 175 topics with more than 850 variants.

The ACR AC are evidence-based guidelines to assist referring physicians and other health care providers in making the most appropriate imaging or treatment decision for a specified medical condition.  They are developed by expert panels in diagnostic imaging, interventional radiology, and radiation oncology.  More than 80 physicians from specialties outside of radiology/radiation oncology participate in the development and review of the topics.

‪‪‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬The updated ACR AC can be accessed free of charge for individual users on the ACR website at  ‪‬‬‬‬‬‬

The ACR Appropriateness Criteria Anytime, Anywhere™ application is also available for your mobile device or desktop. The application enables access to all of the topics by downloading them to nearly any smart phone or other mobile device for a small subscription fee. The content from this newest version will be incorporated into the mobile application in the coming months.  Current subscribers can update the ACR AC content at no extra cost anytime during their subscription period when the new release is made available.  Additional information is available at

Monthly Spotlight: College of American Pathologists

The Commission on Cancer regularly collaborates with over 50 member organizations in its mission to provide quality cancer care. This month we introduce the College of American Pathologists (CAP).   

CAP is the principal organization of board-certified pathologists that serves and represents the interests of patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine.

The CAP Pathology and Laboratory Quality Center (The Center) is collaborating with International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and Association for Molecular Pathologists (AMP) to publish the Molecular Testing Guidelines for Selection of Lung Cancer Patients for EGFR and ALK Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in 2012.

Cancer Protocols. The CAP Cancer Committee plans to release major revisions to the Invasive Breast and Stomach Cancer Protocols in the spring of 2012. They are also developing a new Uterine Sarcoma Cancer Protocol, with no scheduled release date at this time. The CAP developed to provide patients and their loved ones with accurate and credible information on more than 40 of the most common cancers and cancer-related conditions.  The site offers resources, tools, and features to help patients and their families better understand their diagnosis and evaluate treatment options.  The site provides questions that patients can ask their doctors and images of normal and diseased cells and tissues to help patients better understand what cancer looks like and gain a sense of control during what can be a frightening time. In addition, visitors to the site will find tips on how to read a pathology report, the latest cancer news, and survivor stories. Visitors to can register to receive a free email or text message reminder prompting them to call their physicians to schedule potentially life-saving health screening tests or make a blood donation.  Pathologists developed the information on, available in English and Spanish.

Advocacy Agenda: The CAP has joined and is active in the Cancer Leadership Council (CLC), a patient-centered forum of national advocacy organizations addressing public policy issues in cancer. The CAP supports federal legislation aimed at improving cancer care, including legislation related to cancer prevention, research, clinical trials and patient-centered care coordination. The CAP facilitates pathologists’ participation in State Comprehensive Cancer Control Plans.

Event Information:

  • CAP Companion Society Symposium at USCAP 2012: Bridging the Divide between Molecular and Surgical Pathology; March 18, 2012; Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • CAP Satellite Symposium at American Society of Breast Disease 36th Annual Symposium: Radiologic and Pathologic Correlation of Breast Imaging Abnormalities of Breast Needle Core Biopsy; April 14, 2012; Dallas, TX
  • Multidisciplinary Breast Pathology Advanced Practical Pathology Program (MBP AP3) and Breast Predictive Factors Testing Advanced Practical Pathology Program (BPFT AP3); available online courses and instructor-led workshops scheduled April 28-29, 2012, Orlando, FL and October 27-28, 2012, Chicago, IL
  • CAP Annual Meeting; September 9-12, 2012; San Diego, CA 

Visit and select the CAP Learning Portal to search for other relevant learning activities available in the learning catalog.

Recent Publications and/or Products:
Q-MONITORS™: Completeness of Cancer Reporting (QM2)
. The CAP has unveiled a quality monitor on completeness of cancer reporting, specific to cancer centers, which can be used as an ongoing quality performance measure to assess whether departments are in compliance with cancer reporting standards. The data may also be subcategorized by individual pathologist for use in ongoing professional practice evaluations. The Q-MONITOR helps the centers to fulfill ACS CoC requirements for self-auditing pathology reports. The ACS CoC requires that designated cancer centers show that 90 percent of cancer resection reports contain all the required elements of the CAP cancer protocols. CAP accreditation also calls for the required data elements of the protocols to be in surgical pathology reports.  In addition, the CMS provides incentives to report completeness in breast and colon cancer reports through its Physician Quality Reporting Initiative, and other types of cancer likely will follow. 

For more information on this organization, please contact:
Joe Schramm, Northfield, IL
Phone: 847-832-7445
Web Address: | Email:

ACCC Releases Patient Assistance Guide

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has released its 2012 Patient Assistance and Reimbursement Guide, which brings together information on pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical patient assistance programs and reimbursement resources in a user-friendly format. The digital edition allows users to link directly to program information and enrollment forms. The guide is available at

ACCC's 2012 Patient Assistance and Reimbursement Guide is designed to assist community cancer programs in accessing resources to help ensure that all cancer patients have access to the life-saving treatment they need.

The 2012 guide features:

  • A list of pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical patient assistance programs
  • A quick reference guide by drug name with links directly to the drug manufacturers
  • A patient assistance program flow chart: First identify the patient's financial status. Then follow the appropriate steps.
  • Directions on how to apply and links to enrollment forms
  • An in-depth look at the value of dedicated financial counselors

While patient assistance programs can help to reduce financial hardships for patients and their families, the application process can be time-consuming and tedious for providers and patients alike. Application processes, forms, and eligibility requirements are unique to each program, and changes are frequent. ACCC’s 2012 Patient Assistance and Reimbursement Guide will help save cancer center staff time and program resources by providing access to the information they need in one convenient resource.

Several sessions at ACCC’s Annual National Meeting in Baltimore, MD, March 12-14, 2012, will focus on the role and importance of patient assistance programs. Visit for more information.