The CoC Source - March 28, 2013
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CoC Celebrates Cancer Registrars During National Cancer Registrars Week

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) will join the cancer registrar community in observing the 17th annual National Cancer Registrars Week April 8–12. This year’s theme, Cancer Registrars: Cornerstones of Care in the Nation’s Fight Against Cancer, parallels the CoC’s traditional description of its accreditation program, with the cancer registry as a cornerstone in the effort to deliver comprehensive, quality cancer care.  The CoC recognizes the commitment and dedication of cancer registrars working in CoC-accredited cancer programs across the country collecting high-quality cancer patient data that informs decisions about cancer care. 

The efforts of the CoC would not be possible without the hard work and contributions of the cancer registrar community. We encourage CoC-accredited cancer programs to take the opportunity during the week of April 8-12 to recognize their cancer registry staff for their contributions.  In honor of their contributions to the work of the CoC, there will be a celebration for Certified Tumor Registrars on staff at the CoC, on Wednesday, April 10.

Congratulations Cancer Registrars!

The CoC Brief Premiered March 6

The first issue of The CoC Brief debuted on March 6. This weekly news brief, distributed on Wednesdays, is a digest of current information on cancer care trends, treatments, legislative activity, and issues.

To receive The CoC Brief in your inbox, whitelist the sending e-mail address at

You can also access The CoC Brief from your smartphone or tablet. To find the app, search for MultiBriefs in the App Store for iPad and iPhone, on under Apps and Media, and in Google Play for Android.

Download the iPhone app.
Download the Android app.
Download the Blackberry app.

If you cannot access The CoC Brief, please contact Susan Rubin.

CoC to Exhibit at the ONS 38th Annual Congress

If you are attending the Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS) 38th Annual Congress, make sure to visit the CoC exhibit booth (440).  Take this opportunity to meet Carma S. Herring, RN, MSN, OCC, Executive Director of the John Stoddard Cancer Center, in Des Moines, IA who currently serves as the ONS member organization representative to the CoC.  She will be in the CoC booth from Thursday, April 25 – Saturday, April 29 to provide information on the 2013 CoC standards and preview the newly released 2013 CoC Standards videos.  This series of 29 videos can be accessed free from the CoC website and YouTube and address some of the most common questions regarding the standards.

CoC Recognizes Long-Standing Programs

CoC-accredited cancer programs provide their community with high-quality, multidisciplinary, patient-centered care. CoC programs evolve 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 month’s column, the CoC recognizes accredited programs that have maintained their accreditation for 70–74 consecutive years (starting in the years from1939 to 1943). Congratulations to the following programs for reaching this milestone:

Duke University Hospital (1939), Durham, NC
Easton Hospital (1940), Easton, PA
Georgetown University Medical Center (1940), Washington, DC
Hackley Health (1940), Muskegon, MI
Long Island College Hospital (1939), Brooklyn, NY
Long Island Jewish Medical Center (1939), New Hyde Park, NY
Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC (1940), Pittsburgh, PA
Memorial Medical Center (1940), Johnstown, PA
Mercy Health Partners (1940), Muskegon, MI
Methodist Medical Center of Illinois(1943), Peoria, IL
Middlesex Hospital (1941), Middletown, CT
Nashville General Hospital at Meharry (1941), Nashville, TN
New York Methodist Hospital (1941), Brooklyn, NY
Norwalk Hospital (1940), Norwalk, CT
Oregon Health & Science University (1940), Portland, OR
OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center (1942), Rockford, IL
Rush University Medical Center (1939), Chicago, IL
Saint Vincent's Hospital – Manhattan (1942), New York, NY
Salem Hospital/The North Shore Cancer Center (1939), Salem, MA
Sanford Medical Center Fargo (1940), Fargo, ND
St. Francis Medical Center (1941), Pittsburgh, PA
St. Mary's Hospital (1939), Waterbury, CT
SUNY Downstate Medical Center - University Hospital of Brooklyn (1939), Brooklyn, NY
Temple University Hospital (1939) , Philadelphia, PA
The Queen's Medical Center (1941), Honolulu, HI
University Hospital (1941), San Juan, PR
University of Alabama at Birmingham (1940), Birmingham, AL
University of Missouri/Ellis Fischel Cancer (1940), Columbia, MO
University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals  (1942), Galveston, TX
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (1940), Nashville, TN
Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA
Virtua Health (1941), Marlton, NJ
Virtua Memorial  Hospital Burlington County (1942), Mount Holly, NJ
Virtua West Jersey Hospital – Marlton (1941), Marlton, NJ

March Madness Leaves Cancer Programs Vulnerable

In early March, the sequester took effect leaving a trail of deep spending cuts such as a 2 percent cut in Medicare physician payments, cuts in graduate medical education funding, and approximately $1.6 billion in cuts to medical research at the National Institutes of Health.  Following this, in mid-March, Congress missed an opportunity to avert some of these cuts when it passed HR 933, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013.  This bill served as a full appropriations bill for areas where there was consensus and as a continuing resolution (CR) for areas that lacked consensus, such as health heavy Labor-HHS bill.

Under the CR, and excluding sequestration, the CDC cancer programs and the HRSA Title VIII nursing programs are funded at fiscal year (FY) 2012 levels.  While the NIH receives a $71 million increase in the CR, the increase is placed in the NIH Office of the Director to support a portion of the National Children’s Study with the remainder being distributed to the Institutes and Centers.  In addition, while the FDA receives a small increase in the bill, that money is intended to cover increased staff costs.

Further, and unfortunately, all of the spending levels in HR 933 are subject to both the 5 percent sequester and an additional 0.098 percent across-the-board-cut.

Finally, before leaving for the two-week Spring recess, both the House and Senate passed their respective FY 2014 budget resolutions.  Under the House-passed budget, the sequestration spending cuts on defense spending would be transferred to nondefense discretionary spending, cutting nondefense discretionary spending by 18 percent in FY 2014.

In contrast, the Senate budget sets a path for rescinding sequestration and maintains the defense and nondefense budget caps set under the Budget Control Act.  In addition, the Senate passed the Durbin-Moran-Mikulski-Cardin NIH budget amendment that would allow for an increase in NIH funding.  However, the passage of this amendment does not guarantee an increase in funding for NIH.  

Congress is now in recess until April 8.  It is possible that the House and Senate will work on a Conference Agreement that would serve as a compromise between the two chambers' budgets.  However, the differences between the House and Senate budgets are quite significant, making it unlikely that there will be a conference agreement on the budget.
More than anything, passage of the budget resolutions signifies the start of the FY 2014 appropriations process.  The House and Senate appropriations committees are currently accepting members' appropriations requests.  The College and its colleagues will continue to seek funding for cancer programs throughout this process.

SAR Incomplete/Complete Statuses

The CoC initially implemented the draft/incomplete/complete status on the standard bars in the new Survey Application Record (SAR) to help programs recognize any incomplete areas as they prepared for survey. We now realize that this status indicator was not as helpful as we had planned due to, for example, the differing requirements determined by cancer program category, uploading only one of several types of documents, and leaving fields blank.

The CoC has already removed the status from each chapter screen, where all the standards are listed. We replaced the status with a condensed standard title to make it easier for various users to locate specific standards. The status still remains at the top of each standard screen with each specific standard. These status notations will be removed shortly, and we ask that you disregard them as they have been inactivated.

Please note that the draft/incomplete/complete statuses will remain and utilized for the Eligibility Requirements section and will be applied during the Annual Update.


2013 Survey Appeals and Resolutions

The CoC continues to work on launching various sections of the new CoC Datalinks throughout the year.  We will continue to announce these enhanced sections or processes through The CoC Source and the Datalinks ‘News’ tab as they are implemented.

In the meantime, we ask that any programs surveyed in early 2013 that appeal and/or submit resolutions between February 1 and May 30, to submit the required documents and cover letter via e-mail directly to the attention of Vicki Chiappetta, Technical Specialist, at

Appeals will be accepted within 30 days of the program receiving access to the initial Cancer Program Performance Report. The cancer committee chair or cancer program administrator must sign the appeal cover letter. Documentation should demonstrate compliance (or commendation) for the years in question for each specific standard in question. All documentation should be submitted at one time for appeals.

The cancer committee chair or cancer program administrator also must sign the cover letter submitted for deficiency resolutions. Required documentation that demonstrates compliance for each standard found deficient at survey time can be found on the Cancer page. Submit documentation for all deficiencies at one time by the resolution due date, which is provided on the Performance Report. 

If you have submitted an appeal, please do not submit any resolution documentation until AFTER your appeal outcome has been received.

The CoC will communicate to cancer programs when the new appeal and deficiency resolution processes and screens are put into practice.

Preliminary 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) Recipients Announced

Was your program surveyed in 2012?  Is your program a 2012 OAA recipient?

84 programs have currently been identified as 2012 OAA recipients.  Each program received commendation for the 7 standards in the OAA criteria and complied with all other cancer program standards.  These programs represent peak performers among the programs that were surveyed during 2012.  We congratulate each program and it’s staff on this achievement.

If your program was surveyed during 2012, access the Preliminary 2012 OAA recipient list at to see if your program is included in this prestigious group.  If you feel that your program should be included, please contact Carol Woody at so that we can investigate the status.  We will finalize the recipients by April 5th, so please act quickly.

Request for Action - Psychosocial Services Representative Coordinator Role Designation

We are working with select CoC member organizations to provide CoC-accredited programs with resources and support to help as you prepare for compliance with the Continuum of Cancer Standards, Chapter 3. To assist us in that process, we are asking you to designate a Psychosocial Services Representative in CoC Datalinks. We are working with member organizations to design resources and tools for your use and we need input from all programs. Being able to direct inquiries to a Psychosocial Services Representative would help with that effort.

To add or revise the Psychosocial Services Representative, an authorized Datalinks user will need to log into Datalinks and use the staff management web page. There you will find information on adding/removing roles, editing contact information and removing users.

Cancer Program Standards 2012 Best Practices Repository - What's New in March

This month we introduce the two newest best practices submitted to the CoC Best Practices Repository. The Standards Advisory Group for Excellence (SAGE) has reviewed and approved these documents.

The first best practice is a sample action plan that supports Standard 4.4, Accountability Measures. The cancer committee at the demo hospital reviewed compliance with each of the CoC accountability measures and determined that they were not in compliance with one of the measures. The issues were identified and a plan of action was developed. 

The second best practice is a sample action plan that supports Standard 4.5, Quality Improvement Measures. The cancer committee of the demo hospital reviewed their compliance with each of the CoC quality improvement measures and determined that they were not in compliance with one of the measures. The issues were identified and an action plan was developed.

We hope our constituents find these examples helpful as they prepare to comply with the standards established in 2012.  To view this document and other newly posted documents, visit the Best Practice Repository. 

Many thanks to our constituents, member organizations, and staff for contributing tools and examples to the repository. We encourage all accredited programs to share best practices from their cancer programs. Please visit the Best Practice Repository to download instructions for submitting best practices.

News from the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) Forthcoming Presentations on the National Stage

The National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) continues to serve as a resource for scientific findings presented at national meetings.  The NCDB is an excellent source to assist in defining clinical practice for many cancer sites.  Those of you attending either The American Society of Breast Surgeons’ annual meeting, The American Urological Association, or the 2013 Pancreas Club Annual Meeting may wish to attend the following presentations. 

Axillary surgery among estrogen receptor positive women 70 years of age or older with clinical stage I breast cancer, 2004-2010: a report from the National Cancer Data Base.
Pesce C, Yao K, Czechura T, Huo D, Winchester DP, Winchester DJ.
Oral Quickshot Presentation at American Society of Breast Surgeons annual meeting. May 4, 2013. 
Partial Breast Irradiation versus Whole Breast Irradiation for Early Stage Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Breast Conservation, 2003-2010: A Report from the National Cancer Data Base.
Czechura T, Yao K, Pesce C, Huo D, Winchester DP, Winchester DJ.
Oral Presentation at the  American Society of Breast Surgeons annual meeting. May 4, 2013.  
Does Adherence to Candidate Quality Measures for Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Vary by Hospital Type?
Corcoran A, Handorf E, Canter D, Bekelman JE, Kim SP, Kutikov A, Uzzo RG, Smaldone MC
Presentation at the American Urological Association meeting, May 2013.
Ninety-Day Mortality Rate after Resection of Cancer of the Pancreas Is Nearly Double Thirty-Day Mortality:  Analysis of 20,000 Pancreatectomies in the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB).
Richard S Swanson MD, Kathy Mallin PhD, Christopher M Pezzi MD, Andrew Stewart MA, Bryan Palis MA, David P Winchester MD    
Long Podium Presentation, 2013 Pancreas Club Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, May 17-18, 2013.

Orientation for the Cancer Liaison Physician

A new Orientation for the Cancer Liaison Physician webinar will be released in late spring.  This webinar will be featured in the new CoC Online Education Portal, which will also be live soon.  You will have access to the new CoC Online Education Portal through your CoC Datalinks log-in information.  If you don’t have your CoC Datalinks user ID and password, please follow these steps.

  1. Visit the CoC Datalinks log-in page.
  2. Click on the “Forgot Username or Password.”
  3. Enter the e-mail address associated with your CoC Datalinks account and click “Submit.”
  4. An e-mail will be sent to you with your user ID and a link to reset your password.
  5. Click the link in the e-mail.
  6. Enter a new password and click “Submit.”
  7. Click the “Log on” link in the upper right corner to log in with your user ID and the new password.

Registration for Survey Savvy and the optional RQRS Workshop is NOW OPEN!

The online registration site for Survey Savvy: Enhance Quality – Commit to Patient Centered Care, June 27-28, 2013 and the optional RQRS Workshop, June 26, 2013 is now open. Registration can be completed online with a credit card or through printing the online brochure and mailing in with a check.  The deadline to register is June 5, 2013.

This year’s Survey Savvy will highlight best practices and strategies, presented by speakers from CoC-accredited cancer programs, focusing on the patient-centered and quality standards. The two-day workshop will include panel presentations from over 20 speakers, and break-out sessions on various topics. Multiple participants from a facility are encouraged to attend in order to gain the most benefit from the breakout sessions.

The optional RQRS Workshop, held the day before Survey Savvy, will introduce participants to the Rapid Quality Reporting System. This workshop will cover data submission requirements, navigation of the reporting application and other key information to assist you in gaining the most from this system for your cancer program.

For more information and to register, click on either of the links below:
Online Brochure
Registration Site

Survey Savvy: Enhance Quality – Commit to Patient Centered Care

June 27-28, 2013
The Westin Michigan Ave.
909 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

Hotel rate
: $239/night
Hotel Deadline: June 12, 2013

Registration Fees:
$600 per person – CoC-accredited cancer programs
$700 per person – all other participants

Optional RQRS Workshop
June 26, 2013 | 1-5 pm
American College of Surgeons Headquarters
633 N. Saint Clair, 28th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Registration Fees:
$200 per person with Survey Savvy
$250 per person - Workshop only

New Cancer Programs Online Education Portal to Launch in April

The Cancer Programs of the American College of Surgeons, including the Commission on Cancer (CoC), National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), and the Collaborative Stage Data Collection System (CS) have all collaborated on a new online education portal that will be launching in April.  Final testing is underway to assure a smooth user experience.  We will communicate when the site is open via a special issue of The CoC Source.  

Changes to the Online Education Portal include complimentary access to CoC webinars for all staff associated with a CoC-accredited cancer program (staff must have a CoC Datalinks User ID and Password to access the complimentary webinars; see directions below to obtain access to CoC Datalinks), multiple search functions accessible through pull-down menus and a search box, easy access to educational webinars developed by other Cancer Programs, a personal user account to access webinars and certificates, and instructional videos on how to use the new site.  

Once the Online Education Portal is open, webinars will no longer be available for purchase from the former site and current users will have two months to view any purchased webinars and print out certificates. Existing accounts and contents will not be transferred to the new site as new user accounts must be created. Directional videos will be available on the new site instructing individuals on how to create new user accounts and passwords, accessing your account, and purchasing/viewing webinars.

The new site will launch with the following CoC webinars originally recorded in December 2011 and updated in January 2013:

  1. Cancer Program Standards 2012 Continuum of Care Services: Standard 3.1 Patient Navigation Process
  2. Cancer Clinical Trials
  3. Cancer Program Standards 2012 Continuum of Care Services: Focus on Psychosocial Distress Screening, Tools and Resources, Assuring a High-Quality Registry to Support Patient-Centered Care
  4. Cancer Program Standards 2012 Continuum of Care Services: Focus on Cancer Risk Assessment and Genetic Testing
  5. Cancer Program Standards 2012: Clinical Services: Focus on Palliative Care Services

New CoC webinar topics under development include:

  1. Running an Optimal Cancer Committee
  2. CoC Standard 4.6 Assessment and Treatment Planning
  3. Changes to Facility Oncology Registry Data Standards (FORDS)
  4. What is the Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) and What Does it Mean for Your Cancer Program?
  5. Navigating and Making the Most of the RQRS Application
  6. How to Use RQRS in Your Cancer Program
  7. Important Accreditation Facts: New Program Categories and Accreditation Awards
  8. Focus on Roles and Responsibilities of the Cancer Committee
  9. Eligibility Requirements: The Cancer Committee's Role in Evaluation and Reporting
  10. 2013 and Beyond: The Survey Process
  11. CoC Standard on Genetics
  12. American Cancer Society topics on Screening and Prevention Guidelines

Special Note to CoC-accredited Cancer Program Staff:
All CoC-accredited cancer program staff will have complimentary access to all CoC webinars through the new Online Education Portal. In order to access the webinars for free, each participating staff person at a CoC-accredited cancer program must use their CoC Datalinks User ID and Password to log into the new site. If you or your staff members do not have a user account in CoC Datalinks, please request one using the directions below. As it can take up to 3 days to process a new Datalinks User ID, we recommend that you request one immediately to allow sufficient processing time.

Directions to obtain a CoC Datalinks User ID and Password (do not request a new one if you already have one):

  • Contact your Registrar or Cancer Program Administrator at your CoC-accredited cancer program and request a CoC Datalinks user account.
  • The Registrar or Administrator must log into CoC Datalinks and submit the electronic request for the new user via the “Manage Staff Contacts” link on the CoC Datalinks Activity Menu. Please use the Staff Management web page: for instructions/information on adding, editing and removing contacts.
  • If you do not fit any of the roles in CoC Datalinks, then you should be added as “Datalinks Contact”.
  • CoC staff process new user requests.  All new users will receive an email with login information from within 3 business days.
  • Retain your User ID and Password to log in to the Online Education Portal.  

If you have any questions on this, please contact


AJCC Article Most Cited in Annals of Surgical Oncology

“The American Joint Committee on Cancer: the 7th edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual and the future of TNM” was recognized as one of the most frequently cited Annals of Surgical Oncology article over the last two years combined.

Authors of the article, Stephen B. Edge, MD, FACS, and Carolyn C. Compton, MD, PhD, FCAP, were acknowledged during the Business Meeting of the Society of Surgical Oncology’s annual cancer symposium in National Harbor, MD, on March 9. (The article is available on the Annals of Surgical Oncology website.)

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 can 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. A mentor, who will support them as they develop content will also provide ongoing feedback and coaching throughout the project. The CS Education and Training Team and the participants will develop a toolbox of site- and topic-specific educational videos that will serve as a key reference for all registrars who use CS.

The objectives of this initiative are, briefly 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 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 is not specifically stated

If you are interested in participating, or for more information, click on the link below:

CSv2 Reliability Study Final Report

In 2010, the CSv2 Field Study Team developed coding practice studies to evaluate the cancer registrar’s ability to code the CSv2 items consistently and to evaluate inconsistencies so that improvements could be made to codes, coding structures, notes, and instructions. The primary sites targeted were bladder, breast, colon, corpus, esophagus GE junction, GIST stomach, kidney parenchyma, lung, melanoma skin, merkel cell, NET colon, thyroid, testis and tonsil. As of September 2012, the coding practice studies have been completed for all schemas.

The findings of this quality improvement initiative are now available online at

The CS Education and Training team will develop educational programs based on the study’s findings.  More detailed information from the study will be highlighted in future issues of The CoC Source.


Pursuing Excellence Through Accreditation Workshop

Registration is filling up quickly!

Join us for the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) full-day workshop Pursuing Excellence Through Accreditation in Chicago. Workshop attendees will receive detailed information regarding NAPBC components and standards, survey process, 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.

DATE:         Friday, May 24, 2013
TIME:          7:30 am–4:30 pm
WHERE:    American College of Surgeons, 633 N. Saint Clair Street, Chicago, IL 60611
FEE:           $500/person

Want to maximize your on-site visit?
Through information presented by NAPBC Board members, surveyors, and staff, the workshop will offer pertinent information about issues specific to NAPBC components and standards, including requirements for compliance with each standard. The workshop will also incorporate any recent changes to the standards so that there is a clear understanding of what is expected and how it will be measured. A detailed presentation, “What to Expect on the Day of Survey” will walk you through a site visit from a surveyor’s perspective. Learn what the surveyor is looking for throughout the survey.

Who should attend? This 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.

CE credit hours pending approval from the National Cancer Registrars Association.

Register today! Learn more about the workshop, including the agenda and hotel accommodations.
(For more information and to register online, go to

NAPBC Exhibit Schedule

The NAPBC will have an exhibit at the following meetings:

The American Society of Breast Surgeons 14th Annual Meeting
May 1–5
Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
Chicago, IL

National Cancer Registrars’ Association (NCRA)
May 30–June 2
Hilton Union Square
San Francisco, CA

If you will be attending these meetings and have questions, or wish to pick up an NAPBC Information Kit, stop by these exhibits.

To learn more about the NAPBC, visit, e-mail, or call 312-202-5185.

American Cancer Society News

American Cancer Society Celebrates Its Centennial
Like the American College of Surgeons, the American Cancer Society is observing its 100th anniversary in 2013. Throughout their shared 100-year history, the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society (the two ACSs) have collaborated on many programs, including the establishment of what are now known as the Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).

The American Cancer Society will officially recognize its centennial on May 22.

The progress that has been made in treating all forms of cancer is remarkable, and the American Cancer Society’s 100th anniversary is an opportunity to acknowledge the progress the two ACSs have made together this past century and to celebrate the millions of lives saved. The American Cancer Society reports that today, two out of three people diagnosed with cancer are surviving for at least five years. Since the early 1990s, the cancer death rate in the U.S. has declined by 20 percent.

To commemorate its 100th anniversary, the American Cancer Society has launched a campaign aimed at achieving the following goals, among others:

  • Raise $100 million additional dollars to support cancer research and care
  • Help position the American Cancer Society as the premier organization that will solve the cancer problem this century
  • Increase public knowledge of the progress and accomplishments made

To help eliminate cancer, the American Cancer Society intends to continue to ensure lifesaving cancer research gets funded and is undertaking a historic research project called the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). The goal is to enroll at least 300,000 adults from various racial/ethnic backgrounds from across the U.S. in the study by the end of this year. The society also intends to ensure that cancer patients have access to quality health care and that all Americans have access to lifesaving screenings, clean air, and so on.

Details regarding the longstanding partnership between the two ACSs were published in an article by LaMar S. McGinnis, Jr., MD, FACS, titled “Common origins: The two ACSs—100 years of collaboration to improve the lives of cancer patients,” which was published in the April 2012 Bulletin (vol. 97, no. 4, pp. 6-15). For more information on the American Cancer Society, visit

What is the ACS-CoC Collaborative Action Plan Guide?
The ACS-CoC Collaborative Action Plan Guide was developed by staff from the CoC and the American Cancer Society (ACS) as a resource for CoC-accredited programs. The Guide provides information on ACS resources that support select CoC Cancer Program Standards and is posted in the “General Resources” section of the CoC Standards Resource Repository. Direct links to resources including patient education brochures, videos, and on-line patient education programs on are listed in the Guide.  

Interactive Patient Education Videos – Radiation and Chemotherapy

Emmi Solutions has developed two multimedia educational videos with the assistance and expertise of the American Cancer Society to help patients understand what to expect when they are treated with radiation and chemotherapy.

Each video includes the following topics related to radiation and chemotherapy:

-    How is the therapy administered?
-    What are the goals of the therapy?
-    What to expect during treatment
-    Common concerns and side effects

The Emmi videos are available on or via

ACS staff have reported that a number of CoC-accredited programs email the Emmi videos to patients who are scheduled to receive radiation or chemotherapy.   For more information on ACS resources, contact your ACS representative or access the ACS-CoC Collaborative Action Plan Guide.


Meeting CoC Standard 5.1: Test Before January 2015 Deadline
Cancer registry managers should note that there are only a few Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) testing windows open before the January 2015 deadline. To meet this deadline, all cancer registry staff who perform case abstracting at a CoC-accredited program must hold a current CTR credential. The National Cancer Registrars Association’s (NCRA) Council of Certification encourages CoC-accredited facilities to begin planning for the deadline by determining who on staff needs to earn the credential. Learn more at

NCRA’s Spring Webinar Series on Strategic Abstracting
To complement its successful strategic abstracting webinar series held last fall, NCRA has scheduled three new webinars on thyroid, pancreas, and breast. The webinars will feature discussions of the complex relationships among editing, coding rules, and clinical workups in the abstracting process and showcase the best coding approach for hospitals and central registries. Participants are encouraged to submit questions before the webinar to ensure that critical issues are addressed. To learn more about the webinars, including how to submit questions and to register, visit
  • Thyroid (March 27, 2013) presented by Shirley Jordan Seay, PhD, OCN, CTR
  • Pancreas (April 17, 2013) presented by April Fritz, BA, RHIT, CTR
  • Breast (May 15, 2013) presented by SuAnn McFadden, CTR

Results of the First National Workload and Staffing Study of Central Cancer Registries
The NCRA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) commissioned a national survey of current practices and staffing at central cancer registries. The findings were recently published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Registry Management; the full study, “Workload and Time Management in Central Cancer Registries,” will be released in spring 2013. Prepared by Susan A. Chapman, PhD, RN, and Vanessa Lindler, MA, at the Center for Health Professions, University of California, San Francisco, the survey responds to requests from experts in the field for more research on workload and staffing guidelines for central cancer registries.

The survey outlines the work of registrars in central cancer registries, highlights issues that make performing central cancer registry work challenging, and analyzes the relationship between workload and staffing within central registries. Respondents expressed concerns about adequate staffing and the need to find qualified cancer registry staff to hire. These concerns are consistent with NCRA’s 2011 hospital registry workload study, “NCRA Workload and Staffing Study: Guidelines for Hospital Cancer Registry Programs.” Download the journal article.

Dr. Robert Hiatt to Deliver Keynote Address at NCRA’s Annual Educational Conference
Robert A. Hiatt, MD, PhD, professor and chair, department of epidemiology and biostatistics, director of population sciences, and associate director, UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center will be the keynote speaker at NCRA’s 2013 Annual Educational Conference, May 30–June 2, at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco, CA. His presentation, “Using Cancer Registry Data to Define the Research Agenda for Cancer Centers,” will address the question of how the characteristics of the cancer burden for the population and region served by a cancer center can help drive the center’s research agenda. To learn more, including additional details on the 40 scheduled plenary and breakout sessions, and to register visit the NCRA conference page.

Cancer Support Commmunity Data Shows Positive Results Following Screening for Cancer-Related Distress

The Research and Training Institute (RTI) of the Cancer Support Community (CSC) presented data at the March 2013 meeting of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network showing a significant decrease in emotional distress for people living with cancer who are screened with CSC’s distress screening program, CancerSupportSourceSM (CSS), and are linked to personalized resources. “Early diagnosis of and intervention for distress is related to better health outcomes and quality of life for people with cancer,” says Joanne Buzaglo, PhD, vice president of the CSC’s RTI. “We are thrilled to demonstrate that the use of CSS aided in the significant reduction of patients’ levels of distress within 30–45 days of initial screening,” said Dr. Buzaglo.

CSS is a comprehensive screening program that includes a 25-question tool to help identify priority areas in which a patient feels most worried as well as a full suite of community-based resources, customized to help individuals manage their concerns.  Patients in the study who underwent screening had a 10 percent decrease in overall distress with a 25 percent reduction in the number of concerns ranked as moderate or very serious.

Data presented at the meeting showed that CSS identified patients at risk for clinical depression with a high degree of certainty—equivalent to that of the Distress Thermometer, another cancer distress measurement tool.  Additional work is ongoing at the RTI to further target the early diagnosis of depression and to evaluate the impact of distress screening and follow-up on the cost of the cancer experience.

The combined findings support the recommendation of the 2008 Institute of Medicine report, Cancer Care for the Whole Patient, that social and emotional support must be a part of the standard for comprehensive, quality cancer care and that every person with cancer should be screened for distress. The findings also support the 2012 Patient-Centered Standards of the ACS CoC that, beginning in 2015, require all accredited cancer center patients be screened for distress. According to Christopher Gayer, PhD, director of the RTI, “The data is exciting because it supports the development and implementation of innovative approaches to help patients before their distress reaches a level that might create even more disruption in their treatment, quality of life or overall activities of daily living.”

For more information about distress screening or CancerSupportSource, visit the CSS website.


Joint International Oncology (Sentinel Node and Cancer Metastatis) Congress

5th Symposium on Cancer Metastasis and the Lymphovascular System and the 8th International Sentinel Node Society Congress

Monday, May 27 – Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Hilton San Francisco Financial District - San Francisco, CA

Updates in our understanding of cancer metastases, especially sentinel lymph node biopsy concepts and technology, the cancer microenvironment, and the molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of cancer cells to metastasis will be discussed by an internationally renowned faculty. New developments in biomarker research and their diagnostic and prognostic applications in metastatic disease will be highlighted. New targeted therapy against cancer biomarkers will be featured.


8th International Sentinel Node Society Congress (ISNS)

Armando E. Giuliano, MD, FACS
President, International Sentinel Node Society
Executive Vice Chair, Surgery
Associate Director, Surgical Oncology
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, CA

5th International Symposium on Cancer Metastasis and the Lymphovascular System

Stanley P. L. Leong, MD, FACS
President, Sentinel Node Oncology Foundation
Chief of Cutaneous Oncology
California Pacific Medical Center and Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation
San Francisco, CA

Presented by California Pacific Medical Center, a Sutter Health Affiliate, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, The International Sentinel Node Society, Sentinel Node Oncology Foundation, and The Academy for Continued Healthcare Learning.

Visit our website for more details and information:

Executive Training on Navigation and Survivorship: Finding Your Patient Focus

May 21-22, 2013

Embassy Suites Washington D.C.

The George Washington University Cancer Institute will host an interactive two-day training that equips health care professionals with the tools needed to launch and sustain navigation and survivorship programs, two cornerstones of patient-centered care. Participants learn strategic planning techniques for developing, implementing, evaluating and sustaining patient navigation and survivorship programs. At the conclusion of the training, participants walk away with a cohesive institution-specific plan for either a survivorship or navigation program.

Participants will have access to case studies, networking with experts and other professionals, an online community for sharing resources and updates, a comprehensive Guide for Program Development and accompanying Program Development Workbook and more! Continuing education credits are available for nurses and social workers. Participants receive a certificate upon completion of the program.

Register online today to secure a spot! For questions and additional information, please contact Elisabeth Reed,, or 202-994-4088.