The CoC Source - January 31, 2013
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Introducing The CoC Source

Welcome to the first edition of The CoC Source—your resource for the latest Commission on Cancer (CoC) news, information, and events. Planning for this new and improved e-newsletter began in November 2012 following discussions among CoC staff and volunteers. We were looking for opportunities to streamline and present content to our constituents in CoC-accredited cancer programs and the oncology community in a more useful way. CoC Flash has been in place for more than 10 years and has served us well, but the time has come to refresh our look.

Some features of interest include a list of options in the right-hand column to Forward to a Friend, Manage Your Subscription, generate a Printer-Friendly Version, access a Mobile Version, Search Back Issues, and Contact CoC Staff. The right-hand column also includes a summary of what is In This Issue, Important Dates and Deadlines, and Featured Resources.

New columns include the Accreditation Corner, Advocacy Update, and Spotlight on CoC Programs. The Accreditation Corner, a must-read for CoC-accredited cancer program staff, contains news and information specific to CoC accreditation. The Advocacy Update will highlight the efforts of the new CoC Advocacy Subcommittee and the CoC’s partner organizations’ legislative and regulatory initiatives at the federal and state levels. The Spotlight on CoC Programs column provides the CoC with the opportunity to highlight its accredited cancer programs in a variety of ways. Previous columns carried over from the CoC Flash include Resources for Cancer Liaison Physicians, National Cancer Data Base News, Educational Programs and Resources, Partner News, and News from the Oncology Community. If you have a national event you'd like to promote in News from the Oncology Community, please contact cocsource@facs.org.

We hope you enjoy The CoC Source. Feel free to send us your feedback at cocsource@facs.org.

The CoC and LIVESTRONG

In response to the January 17, 2013, statement from the LIVESTRONG Foundation, the CoC wants to take this opportunity to recognize the organization for its significant contributions to cancer patients and survivors, and lend our support as they continue their past, present, and future work to provide support for people facing cancer.

The CoC invited LIVESTRONG to become a member organization in 2010 and since that time, the two organizations have become strong partners working together on a variety of initiatives to support cancer patients and survivors. Our partnership has continued to grow and strengthen over time.

The LIVESTRONG Foundation provides free cancer support services to help people cope with the financial, emotional, and practical challenges that accompany the disease. In 2012 the organization supported more than 15,000 people affected by cancer in person, on the phone, or online through free cancer support services, including financial assistance, emotional counseling, fertility preservation, and treatment options; trained nearly 48,000 health care professionals on current cancer practices and trends; expanded the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, which helps adult survivors of cancer move forward into a healthy post-treatment life at 133 YMCA locations in 40 cities; invested $1.4 million to bring proven cancer support programs to 90 sites across the U.S. through the Community Impact Project; and committed $500,000 to a three-year initiative with the Union for International Cancer Control to expand global access to essential medicines and technologies. In 2013 LIVESTRONG is committed to strengthening current programs, expanding services, and reaching more people, particularly in low-income and minority communities. The CoC looks forward to continuing the strong partnership it has established with LIVESTRONG. For more information, visit the LIVESTRONG website.

World Cancer Day Is February 4

World Cancer Day 2013 on February 4 will focus on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Dispel damaging myths and misconceptions about cancer, under the tagline “Cancer - Did you know?” World Cancer Day is a chance to raise our collective voices in the name of improving general knowledge around cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease. From a global level, World Cancer Day will focus on the following four myths:

  • Myth 1: Cancer is just a health issue.

Truth: Cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide-reaching social, economic, development, and human rights implications.
  • Myth 2: Cancer is a disease of the wealthy, elderly and developed countries.

Truth: Cancer does not discriminate. It is a global epidemic, affecting all ages, with low- and middle-income countries bearing a disproportionate burden.
  • Myth 3: Cancer is a death sentence.

Truth: Many cancers that were once considered a death sentence can now be cured and for many more people their cancer can now be treated effectively.
  • Myth 4: Cancer is my fate.

Truth: With the right strategies, more than one in every three cancers can be prevented.

Visit World Cancer Day to download toolkits, fact sheets, and posters to help raise awareness and recognize World Cancer Day 2013. Please join this effort by posting something on your website, using the logo, launching a report, organizing a fundraising or advocacy event, and sharing it online!
 

2013 Call for Interested Candidates to Become Surveyors

The CoC announces the recruitment of physicians and non-physicians who would be interested in becoming CoC surveyors. Qualified physician candidates should be actively practicing medicine for a CoC-accredited cancer program or recently retired. Retired physicians may be considered if their retirement began less than one year before  the application date. Non-physicians should have recognized experience and service in oncology administration for a CoC-accredited cancer program as well as significant operational knowledge regarding Tumor Registry. 

Surveyors must be current or previous members of a cancer committee at a CoC-accredited facility and be familiar with the CoC Standards.

Surveyors will travel nationwide to survey cancer programs seeking accreditation or reaccreditation with the CoC. Surveyors will meet and present to key facility administration and the cancer committee at each program, review charts and cases, and assess program compliance with the requirements for all standards.

What other physicians enjoy about surveying and why they became surveyors for the CoC:

  • “[My] favorite aspect of surveying is to share experiences in the delivery of higher standards for patient care.”
  • “I became a surveyor to promote the value and importance of CoC accreditation. I believe that accreditation gives assurance to both patients and families that they are receiving high-quality cancer care.”
  • “[My] favorite aspect of the survey process is being both an educator and enabler, verifying those parts of the program [that] are being done well and encouraging their continuance, and educating the program [on] how to improve.”
  • “I became a surveyor to provide support and encouragement to programs as they struggle to solve cancer care problems.”
  • "[My] favorite aspect of surveying is observing the interactions among the members of the cancer committees within programs that demonstrate a commitment to continuous assessment and improvement of the care provided to patients.”
  • “[My] favorite aspects of surveying are observing the ways that a program uses their data to understand the needs of their patients, make improvements in the patient care process, and plan outreach activities.”

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about becoming a surveyor or to request an application, please contact Allison Knutson at aknutson@facs.org.

Click here to view Surveyor Profiles.

Prescribing a New Kind of Rehab for Cancer Survivors

Laura Landro with The Wall Street Journal  talks about the need for hospitals to offer programs that provide cancer patients with comprehensive rehabilitation services, amid mounting evidence that these programs can help speed recovery, shorten hospital stays and improve quality of life.  Dr. Daniel McKellar, CoC Chair, stated that "Rehabilitation services are an absolutely essential part of cancer care."  The article references the new CoC eligibility requirement to offer rehabilitation services and major cancer centers are taking steps to better coordinate rehabilitation services following treatment.  Read the entire article.


CoC Exhibit Schedule

The CoC is scheduled to exhibit at:

American Psychosocial Oncology Society
February 14 - 16
Hyatt Regency
Huntington Beach, CA

If you are attending this meeting, stop by the booth #205 and view the new materials the CoC has to offer.  

To learn more about the CoC, visit www.facs.org/cancer.

 

CoC Recognizes Longest-Standing Programs

As a CoC-accredited cancer program, your organization has made a commitment to providing your community with high-quality, multidisciplinary, patient-centered cancer care. Your program continues to evolve and grow in response to new diagnostic and treatment modalities, quality assurance and improvement initiatives, and the needs of cancer patients and their families. Currently, there are nearly 1,500 CoC-accredited programs throughout the U.S.  

In this new column, the CoC recognizes accredited programs based on a number of criteria—years of continuous accreditation, best practices, or contributions to their individual communities. 

For the inaugural column, the CoC recognizes programs that have maintained CoC accreditation for at least 80 consecutive years. 

Congratulations to:

Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA
Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, CT
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI
LSU Medical Center - University Hospital, Shreveport, LA
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ
Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center, Hartford, CT
Scott and White Memorial Hospital, Temple, TX
Summa Health System-Summa Akron City Hospital, Akron, OH
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT

If you would like your program recognized, please send information about your accomplishment to CoC@facs.org. Please include your name and contact information. 

CoC Forms Advocacy Subcommittee

The CoC’s Executive Committee recognizes the importance of supporting cancer-related policy issues and has formed a subcommittee of the CoC Member Organization Steering Committee to focus on that work.  The Advocacy Subcommittee is responsible for identifying, evaluating, and recommending positions on legislative policy and/or regulatory issues that come before the state and/or federal government that have the potential to affect the needs and/or interests of CoC-accredited cancer programs and cancer patients.

The principles that guide the work of the advocacy subcommittee are issues that inspire quality and better outcomes to benefit cancer patients/survivors and their caregivers; solutions that lead to lower costs, higher quality and better outcomes; solutions that protect and improve access to care; solutions that are politically achievable in a difficult fiscal environment; issues that align with the CoC mission; and issues to benefit CoC-accredited cancer programs and member organizations. 

Watch this Advocacy Corner each month for updates on the work of the subcommittee and to stay informed about cancer-related policy issues.  


Introducing the CoC Datalinks News Tab

If you glance at the top of your screen in CoC Datalinks, you will notice that there are three tabs: Home, News, and Contact Us.  The ‘Home’ tab brings you back to your Datalinks home page. The ‘Contact Us’ tab produces an email to contact the CoC for Datalinks issues. The ‘News’ tab can be viewed at any time by all users and provides summaries of current information, clarifications, events, or announcements from the CoC.  

The ‘News’ tab is a convenient way to access the latest information and, as necessary, provide links to the complete information on the subject matter. Currently, the News tab includes information on the Call for Data, FORDS revision, and the next Survey Savvy in 2013.

We hope you find this ‘News’ resource a useful tool at your fingertips to the latest information from the CoC.

Time to Check Your NCDB Submissions

Receipts for all required submissions to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) must be time stamped by midnight Central Time the night of January 31 for compliance with Standard 5.5. See the submission website for registrars for details.

Congratulations to the programs that submitted their data early in January! That is much faster than in previous years. About 25 percent of programs submitted their registry data by January 15. At that time, NCDB had added or updated 1.3 million records from the first two weeks of submissions. Another 25 percent of programs submitted their data during the following seven days. NCDB will remain open until the night of April 1 to receive corrections and delayed submissions. The deadline for making required corrections is April 1. NCDB will close for routine submissions immediately after that.

NCDB grants limited extensions for Standard 5.5 under unusual circumstances. If your program will need an extension, send the request by e-mail to Jerri Linn Phillips at jphillips@facs.org with a reason for the extension and the expected date for submission. Extensions must be granted before the January 31 submission deadline.

One more step remains. Please check your Standard Application Record (SAR) in Datalinks for Standards 5.5 and 5.6 to confirm that your results are what you anticipated. Note that submissions made near the deadline may not be processed yet, so keep checking. If there are discrepancies from what was expected, or if record of your submission does not appear by mid-April, contact NCDB at ncdb@facs.org.

Did you receive your data-processing notifications? NCDB sends an e-mail to everyone who makes a submission to confirm the file was received. Once the file is opened, validated, and edited, the registrar on record for the program will receive a follow-up automated notification with edit results or other information if the file could not be processed. If these notifications did not reach you, please confirm that your SAR has the correct names and e-mail addresses for program registrars and co-registrars.

Finally, please be certain that no one in the program ever shares their User ID, log-in ID, or password with anyone else. Not only are these used to identify recipients for crucial e-mail, they are the mechanism that the CoC uses to control secured access to your program’s data and to determine which screens and applications can be accessed as well as which communications you receive.

Release of Updated Registry Plus Online Help Version 12.2 for 2012

An updated version of Registry Plus Online Help (RPOH) for 2012 has been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Cancer Surveillance Branch. The Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) manual component has been updated to the 2012 SEER Manual, and the Edits component has been updated to the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) metafile version 12.2C. This new version is available on the CDC website. RPOH provides online versions of the Facility Oncology Registry Data Standards (FORDS), the SEER coding manual, Collaborative Stage manual, and other resources in a free, easy-to-use package.

Registry Plus Online Help (RPOH) is an integrated, user-friendly help system for cancer registrars and others who work with cancer data. Developed in support of the CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR), RPOH facilitates the abstraction of cancer cases by centralizing standard abstracting and coding manuals into one accessible, easy-to-use resource. The manuals within RPOH are cross-referenced, indexed, and context-linked, making the information readily available to the user, so RPOH can eliminate the need for printed manuals.

The following manuals are included in this release:
  • NAACCR Data Standards and Data Dictionary for record layout version 12.2
  • Online help for the NAACCR V12.2C Edits Metafile
  • Facility Oncology Registry Data Standards (FORDS) 2012
  • Collaborative Stage Data Collection System [CS]: User Documentation and Coding Instructions, Version 02.04 (includes Parts I and II)
  • SEER Program Coding and Staging Manual 2012
  • ICD-O-3, Introductory Material and Morphology Numerical Lists
  • Multiple Primary and Histology Coding Rules (updated through 9/27/11)
Registry Plus Online Help is part of the Registry Plus software suite for cancer registries.

SEER*Rx- Interactive Drug Database Updated

The SEER*Rx Interactive Drug Database was updated on January 23, 2013 (see http://seer.cancer.gov/tools/seerrx/index.html).  That tool is necessary to categorize systemic treatment correctly.  This version includes 3 new regimens, 12 new drugs (Phase I, Phase II, or Phase III clinical trials or recently approved by the FDA).  71 drugs currently in the database have been updated to include generic names and or updated information added to the remarks field. 255 drug regimens have been modified. Review of the regimens in SEER*RX noted an ancillary drug (which is not coded) was inadvertently added to these regimens. The drug in question has been deleted.  

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Six drugs have changed categories. Please refer to the summary of changes document which is available on the SEER*RX page.

SEER*RX is now available in two formats: a web-based tool and as stand-alone software.

Web-based Version.  The SEER*Rx - Interactive Antineoplastic Drugs Database is provided in a web-based format that has several benefits over the software:

  • Updates are automatic: users do not have to install anything to access the latest revisions.
  • Allows access from any computer or device with an Internet connection.
  • Eliminates problems for users who do not have permission to install software on their work computers.
Download Software Version.  The web-based version of the SEER*Rx is the preferred method to access the current data. If you need the software version because of limited Internet access, it is still available for now, but may be phased out in the future. Note that the coding information in the software version of the database can get out-of-date; be sure to check back to this site to install any updates.

Download the SEER*Rx Version 2.1.0 (released January 23, 2013) SEER*RX Version 2.1.0 replaces previous versions. You will need to delete the old version prior to downloading version 2.1.0

Cancer Liaison Physician Information Board Has a New Look

The Cancer Liaison Program would like to thank you for your patience during our reconstruction of the Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) Information Board.  This reconstruction project has been a work in progress and we are aware that some resources may not have been available to you in past weeks.  However, we are sure that you will be pleased with the enhancements and what the improved website has to offer.

For starters, the homepage features easy navigational links to the resources that support the main aspects of your CLP role (NCDB tools, Webinars, American Cancer Society resources).  You no longer have a long list of options to search to find the information you are looking for. 

Easy access has been provided to three webinars that were only available through the Commission on Cancer’s Online Education Portal.  They are now directly linked to your information board under the “Watch Cancer Liaison Physician Webinar” tab*.  The Orientation webinar is still only available through the Commission on Cancer’s Online Education Portal for tracking purposes.

We hope this new and improved CLP Information Board will give you concise information to jump start you in your role as CLP.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please email us at clp@facs.org.

* CME is no longer available for the webinars posted on this site.

Cancer Liaison Physician 1st Quarter Report Example

Go to the new Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) Information Board where you will find a concise and easy-to-follow example to use as you develop your first quarter CLP report. Staff at the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) compiled this reporting example in an easy-to-use, interactive PDF format. The reporting example can be found at http://www.facs.org/cancer/clp/NCDB_CLP_TimeToRx_2012.pdf

CLP reporting is required for compliance with Standard 4.3. You are not required to use this specific example if you have your own way of using NCDB tools to report to your cancer committee. Our goal is for you to use the tools and data to complete an analysis that informs your program about quality issues, whether comparing your program to others in your state, ACS Division, or to all; looking at your Cancer Program Practice Profile Reports (CP3R) performance at any level; or doing a survival analysis. Data reporting should ultimately inform your quality improvement process moving forward. A new example will be provided each quarter. The Committee on Cancer Liaison is dedicated to helping you—as a cancer leader and a champion of quality care.

Clinical Congress 2012 Webcasts Now Available

Select sessions from the 2012 American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress are now available via pre-recorded webcasts.  These sessions offer surgeons updated education on the latest techniques in various surgical areas. Packages are available for purchase as webcasts are not sold individually. Special Cancer topics sponsored by the Commission on Cancer include:

  • PS230 - Making the Most of Breast Imaging: From Diagnosis to Surgical Planning to Follow-Up Care        
  • PS304 - Rectal Cancer 2012: Management IS Changing    
  • PS405 - Identification and Management of Patients at High Risk for Breast Cancer

Visit www.facs.org/acswebcast for more information and to purchase ACS Clinical Congress webcast packages.

Survey Savvy 2013 - SAVE THE DATE

The next Survey Savvy will be June 26-28, 2013 in Chicago, IL. There will be an optional Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) Workshop on June 26, held at College Headquarters. We will be examining the new 2012 Standards in greater depth at this conference. Registration will be $600 per person and hotel is $239 per night. Registration is set to open in March. Stay tuned to The CoC Source for updates as they become available.

AJCC News

Collaborative Stage Education Development: Call for Participants

The Collaborative Stage (CS) Education and Training Team is seeking registrars to contribute to new educational initiatives.

Do you have a particular interest in staging for a specific disease site? Would you like to contribute but not be required to attend another meeting? The CS Education and Training Team could use your help!

Our goal is to create a library of educational videos developed by registrars for registrars!

Participants will have the opportunity to use online educational tools to develop, record, and post a short case-based video on CS. They will be supported by a mentor in their content development and will receive continuous feedback and coaching throughout the project. The CS Education and Training Team and the participants will develop a toolbox with site-specific, topic-specific educational videos that will serve as a key reference for all registrars who use CS.

The objectives of this initiative are to

•    Use short topic-based videos (approximately 8–10 slides) as an informal educational tool.
•    Share good practices for understanding CS coding from hospital registrars who use it on a daily basis.
•    Involve more registrars in content development to help ensure relevant topics are addressed.

CAnswer Forum threads are an excellent source for topics, along with issues identified in your registry. If you have an unanswered question, the Forum can assist you. Some proposed ideas include:

•    Breast CS Extension – differences in inflammatory extension codes
•    Melanoma Skin Tumor Size (dimension) vs. SSF1 (depth)
•    Prostate SSF 12 and 13 – registrars can determine number of cores from path report even if number not specifically stated

If you are interested in participating, or for more information, please take the participant survey.


CS Governance Committee
American College of Surgeons
633 North Saint Clair Street
Chicago, IL 60611
312-202-5205
Csv2@facs.org

February 1, 2013

Dear Cancer Registrars,

The Collaborative Stage (CS) leadership will be hosting a small number of Focus Groups in the coming months. CS is seeking some cancer registrars to volunteer as participants in a 90-minute web-based session, and in a post-Focus Group survey. Those individuals who are selected to participate and who complete all components of the Focus Group activity will be given a $25 Amazon Gift Card in appreciation for their time and feedback.  If this opportunity is of interest, please read through the detailed explanation and follow the link to the Recruitment Screener to see if you qualify for the group. The selected participants will be notified by email or by phone with instructions and next steps.

Please direct any questions to csv2@facs.org

Purpose: The purpose of the Focus Groups is to gather qualitative feedback from cancer registrars on possible enhancements to Collaborative Stage.  Any reforms to Collaborative Stage would seek to streamline abstracting and coding and lessen the workload of the registrar while maintaining data collection standards to meet surveillance needs. Therefore, the CS Leadership has chosen to invite members of the cancer registry community to review some concepts and help determine what the real world impact would be on a registrar’s daily work.

Objective:  Evaluate proposed concepts for CS to determine if any concept demonstrates:
1) Significant reduction in the workload for the registrar
2) Minimal or no change in workload for the registrar 
3) Increased workload for the registrar

Focus Group Delivery:  The Focus Groups will be conducted virtually through a web conference (WebEx) allowing participants to view the presenter’s screen. Audio will be provided via a traditional conference call. 

Participation: Participation in the Focus Groups is completely voluntary and is not mandated by any standard setter, agency or institution. A very limited number of participants are needed. Only those selected to participate in the focus groups will be contacted. If you are interested in participating, please complete the CS Focus Group Recruitment Screener by FEBRUARY 15, 2013. For the best chance of selection, please complete the Recruitment Screener as completely and accurately as possible.

 

NAPBC News

Pursuing Excellence Through Accreditation Workshop



Mark your calendar…The NAPBC has scheduled a full-day workshop – Pursuing Excellence through Accreditation to be held at the American College of Surgeons headquarters in Chicago on Friday, May 24. This workshop will provide detailed information related to the NAPBC components and standards, survey process, the quality measures, and related requirements for 2013 and beyond. Attendance at this workshop will assist centers applying for accreditation, as well as centers due for reaccreditation in 2013.  

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 what is required in order to meet compliance with each standard. The workshop will also incorporate recent changes to the standards so that there is a clear understanding of what is expected and how it will be measured. Another detailed presentation, What to Expect on the Day of Survey, will walk you through a site visit from a surveyor’s perspective. Learn about what the surveyor is looking for during different aspects of the survey.

Pursuing Excellence Through Accreditation Workshop 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.

If you have questions, please contact the NAPBC office at 312-202-5185, or by e-mail at napbc@facs.org. Online registration will open on March 4 at www.napbc-breast.org. If you wish to request early registration, please e-mail napbc@facs.org.

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 have an exhibit at the following meetings:

18th Annual Multidisciplinary Breast Symposium on Breast Disease
February 14–16
Ritz Carlton-Amelia Island
Amelia Island, FL

Association of Community Cancer Centers
March 6–8
Washington Marriott Wardman Park
Washington, DC

23rd Annual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference sponsored by the National Consortium of Breast Centers
March 23–27
Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV

If you attend these meetings and have questions, or wish to pick up an NAPBC Information Kit, stop by any one of these exhibits.

To learn more about the NAPBC, visit www.napbc-breast.org, e-mail napbc@facs.org, or call 312-202-5185.



NCRA News

2013 Marks 30th Anniversary of CTR Credential

The Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR®) credential marks a milestone in 2013 - its 30th anniversary. This nationally recognized credential sets the standard for professional excellence in the cancer registry field, and it’s widely used in the recruitment and retention of registry personnel. In the past 30 years, more than 7,000 individuals have attained the CTR credential, and more than 4,700 are currently maintaining it.

In 1974, when the National Tumor Registrars Association (NTRA) — the precursor to the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) — was established, the creation of a professional credential was a key goal. The credential would help to distinguish the profession and highlight the critical role cancer registrars play in collecting the data that informs cancer research, prevention, and treatment programs. To that end, the NTRA instituted the Certification Examination Committee, and many dedicated pioneers in the field of cancer registry management were tapped to serve.

“Working on the first Certification Examination Committee was one of the highlights of my career as a cancer registrar,” said Barbara Lee Peace, CTR, chair of the inaugural Certification Examination Committee. “The committee was determined to establish a credential that would accurately test the skills, tasks, and responsibilities of the cancer registrar. We also wanted the credential to serve as a sign of professional excellence and a way for employers to identify highly qualified candidates.”

Six hundred and twenty-one candidates sat for the first exam March 12, 1983. The early exams were paper-and-pencil tests offered one Saturday in March in only a handful of major cities. Today, the computer-based exam is offered during two, two‐week‐long testing periods (March and September) at more than 400 proctored testing centers throughout the U.S. The early exams cited eight references to assist candidates in preparing for the exam. The 2013 CTR exam lists 19 references and resources.   

The importance of the CTR credential has grown over the years. This is most evident in Standard 5.1 of the Commission on Cancer (CoC) Accreditation Program.  Additionally, human resource departments regularly seek employees to be CTR-certified and to properly maintain their professional credential.

The National Cancer Registrars Association salutes all CTRs on their achievement in attaining this important credential. NCRA will celebrate the CTR credential’s 30th anniversary at its 2013 Annual Educational Conference, May 30 - June 2, in San Francisco. CTRs can purchase a special 30th anniversary pin at www.ncra-usa.org/store.

American Cancer Society News

American Cancer Society Releases Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines

New guidelines from the American Cancer Society say evidence is sufficient to recommend screening high risk patients for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (CT) provided that certain conditions exist:

  • The patient is aged 55 to 74 years, has at least a 30–pack-year smoking history*, and currently smokes or has quit within the past 15 years.
  • The patient has undergone a thorough discussion of the benefits, limitations, and risks of screening.
  • The patient can be screened in a setting with experience in lung cancer screening.

Following the announcement of results from the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) in late 2010, the American Cancer Society joined with the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to produce a systematic review of the evidence related to lung cancer screening with low dose CT. The systematic review focused on four key questions: What are the potential benefits of screening individuals at high risk of developing lung cancer using LDCT? What are the potential harms of screening individuals at high risk of developing lung cancer using LDCT? Which groups are likely to benefit or not benefit? And in what setting is screening likely to be effective?

The results of this systematic review were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June, 2012, and were used as the basis for these new recommendations, which are being published early online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The report will appear in print in the March/April 2012 issue of the journal.

In the report describing the new guidelines, the authors say: “Findings from the National Cancer Institute’s National Lung Screening Trial established that lung cancer mortality in specific high-risk groups can be reduced by annual screening with low-dose computed tomography. These findings indicate that the adoption of lung cancer screening could save many lives.”  The authors caution that more work is needed to fill in existing knowledge gaps related to broadening eligibility for lung cancer screening, to further define early lung cancer detection protocols, and to put in place an infrastructure to support population-based lung cancer screening.

The recommendations emphasize that smoking cessation counseling remains a high priority for clinical attention in discussions with current smokers, and that screening should not be viewed as an alternative to smoking cessation.

The hope is that the guideline will lead adults at high risk of lung cancer to become informed about the potential to detect lung cancer early, and to be referred to institutions that can deliver high quality services, and that screening will contribute to additional declines in lung cancer mortality. However, the authors caution that the implementation of high quality lung cancer screening in the U.S. poses many challenges. “Whether community based screening for lung cancer with LDCT will exceed or fail to achieve the benefit observed in the NLST could be influenced by many factors, and the answer awaits the results of further observation and research.”


Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2009

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2009 was released on Monday January 7, 2013 and will be appear online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and  will be published in print issue 3, volume 105.  The report, produced since 1998, is co-authored by researchers from the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR). It appears early online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and will be published in print issue 3, volume 105.
 
This year’s report shows that overall cancer death rates continued to decline in the United States among both men and women, among all major racial and ethnic groups, and for all of the most common cancer sites, including lung, colon and rectum, female breast, and prostate. However, the report also shows that death rates continued to increase during the latest time period (2000 through 2009) for melanoma of the skin (among men only) and for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and uterus. The special feature section on human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers shows that incidence rates are increasing for HPV-associated oropharyngeal and anal cancers and that vaccination coverage levels in the U.S. during 2008 and 2010 remained low among adolescent girls.


ACS CAN Update – FDA Classification for Tanning Beds

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is calling on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expedite its review of the current tanning bed classification at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Christopher W. Hansen, president of ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, and Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, sent a letter today urging HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to expedite reclassification of tanning beds, as recommend by an FDA panel in 2010, to better reflect the health dangers they pose to individuals who use them.

The letter points out the urgency of the issue given that use of tanning beds greatly increases the risk of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, as well as squamous and basal cell carcinomas. Nearly two years have passed since an FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended that the FDA reclassify tanning beds and impose greater control over their manufacture and distribution.

“Indoor tanning beds are not safe and not appropriately regulated,” write Hansen and Lichtenfeld. “Sunlamps used for tanning are currently regulated by FDA as Class I medical devices. This classification is reserved for the lowest risk products such as tongue depressors and bandages and is inappropriate for a product that has been elevated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to its highest cancer risk category – ‘carcinogenic to humans.’”

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit http://www.acscan.org/.

Center for Melanoma Treatment and Research establishes surgical oncology fellowship

The Center for Melanoma Treatment and Research of Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation at California Pacific Medical Center has established a surgical oncology melanoma fellowship. The program offers a multidisciplinary focus for the treatment of cutaneous malignancies. Beginning on July 1 the fellowship is open to applicants who have completed at least two years in residency training in general surgery with good standing. However, residents who have completed their training and are certified by the American Board of Surgery are preferred. The fellowship program is conducted under the direction and guidance of Dr. Stanley P.L. Leong, chief of cutaneous oncology and associate director of the melanoma program at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation. The fellow will work closely under the supervision of the chief of cutaneous oncology with active participation in the operating room, as well as other physicians in the program, such as, head and neck surgeons, dermatologists, dermatopathologists, and medical oncologists. The fellowship will focus heavily on the care of patients with melanoma, including early- and advanced-stage disease and selective sentinel and radical regional nodal dissection as well as isolated heated limb perfusion and immunotherapy clinical trials. In addition, the fellow will engage in clinical research focused on novel approaches to the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of this disease based on a large melanoma database. Applicants must have a valid California medical license. Interested applicants should e-mail becrafk@sutterhealth.org.

Executive Training on Navigation and Survivorship: Finding Your Patient Focus

Precourse Webinar
February 27, 2013

Executive Training
March 7–8, 2013

Embassy Suites Washington D.C.

The George Washington University Cancer Institute (GWCI) will host an interactive two-day training to equip health care professionals 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 maximize participants' time. Prior to the in-person training, participants will engage in an online webinar discussion that will lay the foundation for the two-day skill development training. Participants will receive a comprehensive Guide for Program Development constructed by the GWCI Division of Cancer Survivorship staff that includes tools, resources, and information on navigation and survivorship programs. Participants will also receive a Program Development Workbook to help build their program plan throughout the training. Participants will walk away from training with a cohesive institution-specific 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 into the process of establishing navigation  or survivorship programs. Register online today to secure a spot! For questions and additional information, please contact Elisabeth Reed, ereed@gwu.edu, or 202-994-4088. More information on the Center for the Advancement of Cancer Survivorship, Navigation and Policy (caSNP) programs can be found on the GWCI website.


ACOA Oncology Update Scheduled for April 2013 in Las Vegas

For the first time, the American College of Oncology Administrators’ (ACOA) 2013 Oncology Update, April 10-12, 2013, in Las Vegas, NV, will provide an expanded educational experience for leaders in oncology, cardiovascular, and neuroscience. Under the banner, American Academy of Medical Administrators Presents 3 Conferences - 1 Location, the conference will provide both individual specialty-focused conferences and exciting leadership keynote sessions.  

The new format will bring together ACCA’s Cardiovascular Administrators’ Leadership Conference, ACOA’s Annual Oncology Update, and a new ACNA Neuroscience Leadership Conference. Participants will have the option to attend sessions at any of the three simultaneous conferences, at the same price, to meet the needs of their varied responsibilities. Conference details, including conference program and exhibitor/sponsor prospectus, are available on its website, www.aameda.org.
 

Joint International Oncology Congress

Building on the success of recent Sentinel Node Oncology Foundation biennial meetings in San Francisco, CA; New York, NY: and previous International Sentinel Node Society meetings, for the first time together, we will convene the most renowned international faculty and leading experts in the field of oncology and cancer research, advancing our goal of fostering genuine translational dialogue among the disciplines responsible for discovering and delivering therapies for cancer. The Joint International Oncology Congress will focus on updates in the understanding of cancer metastases, especially sentinel node biopsy concepts and technology. Studies of biomarkers and their diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer progression and metastatic cancer, as well as their usefulness in radio imaging and molecular-targeted therapy will be a significant part of the congress. Sessions will explore recent developments in understanding the cancer microenvironment, the molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of cancer cells to metastasis, and immune trafficking and responses to cancer cells. Participants will discuss results of recent clinical trials of emerging therapies.

The congress will bring together basic scientists, oncologists, surgeons, and radiologists from around the world, resulting in a cross fertilization of ideas that will enhance the translation of basic science into clinical application—and challenge basic scientists with clinical issues—thus linking “the bench to the bedside.”

We hope you will join us at the Joint International Oncology Congress convening the Sentinel Node Oncology Foundation’s 5th International Symposium on Cancer Metastasis and the Lymphovascular System: Basis for Rational Therapy and the 8th International Sentinel Node Society Meeting, Monday, May 27–Wednesday, May 29  in San Francisco.

Please visit our website for more information.