The CoC Source - May 31, 2013
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CoC Hosts Annual May Committee Meetings

The members of the Commission on Cancer (CoC) standing committees including Accreditation, Cancer Liaison, Education, Quality Integration, and Executive met on May 16 - 17, 2013 for the annual May CoC Committee Meetings in Chicago.  There were more than 150 attendees, including CoC members, member organization representatives, state chairs and American Cancer Society division relationship managers.

Highlights are as follows:
The Accreditation Committee members received reports on the busy activities of the three subcommittees (Field Staff, Program Review, and Recruitment and Retention) as well as the Standards Advisory Group for Excellence (SAGE).  Highlights include:
  • 427 surveys performed during calendar 2012
  • 79 programs received the Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Abstracting timeliness was the most common deficiency given (23% of surveys)
  • 27 programs received initial accreditation
  • 19 programs withdrew, representing a net gain of 8 programs
  • New recruitment and communication activities are underway including targeted marketing and increased exhibit activity
  • Approximately 10 surveyors will be added to the team
  • A surveyor mentor program is in development for release later this year
  • SAGE and the Program Review Subcommittee brought forward three action items.  All were approved.
1. As of July 1, 2013 Standard 5.2 will be changed from abstracting timeliness to a new standard focused on Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) participation.  The RQRS standard will be effective on January 1, 2014, and will be valid for commendation only, and will be part of the Outstanding Achievement Award criteria beginning in 2014.

Abstracting timeliness of 2011 cases will continue to be evaluated during the remaining 2013 surveys.  Any deficiencies given for abstracting timeliness will be resolved by on-time submission of the 2012 cases to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) in January, 2014.

2. Immediately eliminate surveyor review of cases selected for one of the CP3R measures during the on-site visit.  The review may be reinstated by the Accreditation Committee when needed to validate new performance measures.  Programs will be notified in advance if the review is reinstated.

3. Retire the 2009 Standards from the survey process beginning January 1, 2014. This change will not affect surveys performed during 2013 which will continue to review 2010 and 2011 activity using the old standards and 2012 using the new standards.  For 2014 surveys, the Outstanding Achievement Award criteria will be adjusted to apply to activities in 2012 and 2013 using only Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care.

Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient Centered Care, v. 1.2 outlining these changes will be available online by the end of July, 2013.

The Cancer Liaison Committee had a productive and informative meeting.  The discussion focused on the role of the State Chairs and their support for the Cancer Liaison Physicians (CLPs) in accredited programs.  The committee’s emphasis will be on initiatives to support the CLP as their role has evolved to one of interpretation and analysis of quality data in their programs.  The committee will look at supporting the CLP,  surveyor meetings, providing additional training on the use of the NCDB quality tools, and rolling out a new CLP orientation video.  Discussion was held about shifting emphasis of the CLP role from that of a volunteer to one of leader on the cancer committee devoted to improving the quality of the program.

State Chair activity reports were reviewed and voting for the State Chair Outstanding Achievement Award recipients took place during the session.  CLP activity report results were also reviewed, and it was reported that of 414 CLPs surveyed in 2013, only 61 percent were compliant with Standard 4.3.  Resident papers will be reviewed by May 31 and CoC Paper Competition winners will be announced soon.

State Chairs and American Cancer Society representatives will be looking to connect through ACS mission priorities.  These priorities focus efforts on Lung Cancer & Tobacco Control; Nutrition & Physical Activity; Breast Cancer & Colorectal Cancer; Survivorship & Quality of Life; and Access to Care. 

The Education Committee members reviewed and selected topics to submit for potential presentation at the American College of Surgeons 2014 Clinical Congress.  Nancy You, MD, MHSc, FACS representing the ACS Clinical Research Program Education Committee, presented a report on the work of the ACS Clinical Research program and opportunities for collaboration between the two committees.  Keynote speaker suggestions for 2013 CoC Fall meetings were also discussed as well as possible names for the Oncology Lecturer for 2014 ACS Clinical Congress. There was also discussion on developing a three year strategic plan that includes an educational needs assessment.

Member organization representatives met in a session to review member initiatives and to learn about the work of the Commission’s Advocacy Subcommittee.  Member organizations will be creating webinars for posting to the CoC Education Portal that support the work of accredited programs and provide resources to help programs meet CoC Standards.  Member organizations completed templates describing their primary initiatives and those were compiled into the Cancer Care Initiatives Report which can be downloaded from the CoC website.  Survey results from member organizations were reviewed with an emphasis on what value is provided by the CoC.  Member organization representatives from the Society of Surgical Oncology and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons gave presentations highlighting the major initiatives of their organizations. 

The Advocacy Subcommittee report included a review of the mission and guiding principles that will be used to inform the CoC position on policy issues going forward.  A process for obtaining approval for policy positions was rolled out, and the subcommittee will also be developing a portal for gathering cancer-related policy issues of interest to CoC-accredited programs.

The Quality Integration Committee met and discussed the strategic plan priorities for the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) for 2013 which include:
  • Updating the CP3R
  • Updating the RQRS
  • Adding new quality measures
  • Completing CQIP
  • Expanding the Participant User File (PUF) program
  • Working with a consultant to evaluate NCDB operations
  • Collaborating with UCSF on Cancer Registry interface with EPIC

Updates on the progress of CQIP, PUF reports, and the status of quality measure development were shared. The three new breast measures approved last year will be added to the CP3R in August and RQRS later in the year.  Several new measures were approved, which will be rolled out in beginning in 2014. A number of member organizations also expressed interest in working with the QIC to develop additional measures.

Forty CoC State Chairs attended presentations given by Rebecca Cowens-Alvarado, Prevention and Survivorship Strategy, American Cancer Society; Erica McNamara and Kathy Mallin, NCDB staff; Lee Wilke, MD, FACS representing the ACS Clinical Research Program and Colette Salm-Schmid, MD, representing the NAPBC.  In addition to these informative presentations, there was a panel moderated by Dr. Patricia Turner, MD, FACS, Director, Division of Member Services, American College of Surgeons.  The panelists were CoC State Chairs reporting on best practices for participation in College Chapter activities. 

During the CoC Information Forum Session, invited speaker, John D. Sprandio, MD, presented the Oncology Patient-Centered Medical Home (OPCMH) that he pioneered for Oncology Management Services as the chief physician. Heidi Nelson, MD, FACS, Program Director, ACS Clinical Research Program, reported on the group’s efforts to impact participation in clinical trials, and the chairs of each committee presented highlights from their respective meetings.

A great deal was accomplished over the two days of meetings and we thank all of our members for their contributions and commitment to the CoC.

Florida Governor Signs Quality Cancer Care and Research Bill

On May 20, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) signed the Quality Cancer Care and Research bill which, in part, creates a Cancer Center of Excellence Award. The award will be given to Florida providers who excel in providing cancer care and treatment. A joint committee will develop performance measures, a rating system, and rating criteria that will form the basis for the award. One of the key criteria is accreditation by the CoC. Other important criteria outlined in the bill include participation in cancer control activities, research, and cancer care coordination. Care coordination requirements include many activities currently required by the 2013 CoC Cancer Program Standards: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Multidisciplinary care
  • Complete treatment options based on the patient’s needs and preferences
  • Psychosocial assessment and services
  • Aftercare and survivor services
The bill is effective July 1. More information on the bill is available on the Florida Senate website. Select 2013 from the drop down and search for bill number 1660.

National Cancer Survivors Day

The CoC encourages your CoC-accredited program to organize an event in honor of National Cancer Survivors Day®.   Sponsored by Coping®, this day is always the first Sunday in June and was established to bring cancer survivors together showing that there is life after receiving a diagnosis of cancer.  

June 2 marks the 26th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day.  Take this opportunity to promote your program and your CoC Accreditation.  Reach out to your community and sponsor activities that:

  • Recognize cancer survivors
  • Support patients with cancer
  • Screen and educate community members on cancer prevention and detection

Make sure you register your event on the official National Cancer Survivors Day website at  Register your event on this site to gain access to a number of resources and tools to help you plan for and execute a successful event.   

To help you promote your event within your program and the community, the CoC has developed a poster that you can customize, download, and print. CoC-accredited programs can download the poster by logging into CoC Datalinks and clicking on the marketing link. 

Please let the CoC know about your celebration and send photos and other event information to Susan Rubin.


Comprehensive Cancer Control National Partners Meeting in Chicago

The Comprehensive Cancer Control National Partners met at the American College of Surgeons headquarters in Chicago on April 30. This initiative brings together representatives of national organizations who support Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalitions. Comprehensive cancer control is a collaborative process through which a community and its partners pool resources to reduce the burden of cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supports cancer control programs in 50 states, the District of Columbia, seven tribes and tribal organizations, and seven U.S. associated Pacific islands and territories.  

CoC Involvement in the ProvenCare Lung Cancer Collaborative

The ProvenCare™ Lung Cancer Collaborative is a joint project with the Commission on Cancer (CoC) and Geisinger Health System (GHS) in Danville, PA. The project is based on Geisinger’s ProvenCare model that uses the principles of reliability science together with a robust electronic health record and institutional commitment to minimize variation and maximize outcomes for patients with resectable lung cancer. Geisinger has successfully employed the ProvenCare model for coronary artery bypass surgery, total hip replacement, and other procedures. The ProvenCare Lung Cancer Collaborative was initiated by David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, medical director, ACS Cancer Programs, in 2009 when he met with Glenn D. Steele, Jr., MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer at GHS. Dr. Winchester proposed translating GHS’s internal ProvenCare disease management model to a multi-institutional platform for cancer care, partnering with CoC-accredited cancer programs. On July 1, 2010, after a series of planning meetings, the ProvenCare Lung Cancer Collaborative was established with six CoC-accredited programs: Duke Raleigh Hospital, Raleigh, NC; Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA; Kern Medical Center, Bakersfield, CA; NorthShore University Health System, Evanston, IL; Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, IL; and University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle. Each institution developed a Global Aim Statement. The GHS statement is similar to that of other collaborative members:

“We aim to improve the reliable delivery of evidence-based care for patients undergoing resection for lung cancer at Geisinger.’’

‘‘The process begins with the first clinic visit and ends with a written plan for ongoing care and/or surveillance for our patients.’’
A total of 38 evidence-based elements were developed and divided into Preadmission, Inpatient Operative, Inpatient Postoperative, and Postdischarge elements.

Eligibility criteria include all patients with non-small cell lung cancer who agree to participate in the study and who undergo resection for cure. Neoadjuvant treatment is allowed. Patients are excluded if the intent of the operation is palliation. A key component of ProvenCare is patient engagement. Each patient signs a Patient Compact which outlines the patient’s and institution’s commitment toward the patient’s care. In addition, the patient and family members complete the Patient Value Compass, an instrument that facilitates the patient’s and family’s communication to the care team of what is most important to the patient during care.

Phase II of the project was launched in August 2012, and six more CoC-accredited sites joined the program: Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA; Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, NY; Providence Health, Portland, OR; Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett, WA; Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, MD; and UMass Memorial Health Care, Worcester, MA.

Two categories of outcomes will be studied: compliance with the elements of care, and clinical outcomes. A third category is optional for individual institutions: cost data and/or ‘‘pay for performance’’ arrangements with payors.

To date, 889 patients have been accrued toward a target of 1,100 patients. Data through the end of March 2013, shows an overall 45% improvement toward meeting the 38 elements among the collaborative members since the commencement of the project. For more information on the ProvenCare Lung Cancer Collaborative, email

Katlic MR, Facktor MA, Berry SA, McKinley KE, Bothe A Jr, Steele GD Jr. ProvenCare lung cancer: a multi-institutional improvement collaborative. CA Cancer J Clin. 2011;61(6):382-396.

Visit the CoC Booth at AOSW Annual Conference

If you are attending the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) 29th annual conference in San Diego, CA, June 5–7, make sure to stop by the CoC booth to meet Virginia (Ginny) Vaitones. Ginny currently serves as the AOSW representative to the CoC and she is also the Chair of the CoC Member Organization Steering Committee. Take this opportunity to talk with Ginny and learn how your program can comply with the CoC Standards that address clinical services and the patient-centered continuum of care.  Exhibit hours are:

  • June 5, 7:00–8:00 am
  • June 5, 6:30–8:30 pm
  • June 6, 5:00–7:00 pm
  • June 7, 7:00–8:00 am

Are You Receiving The CoC Brief?

Are you receiving The CoC Brief

The first issue of The CoC Brief debuted on March 6. This weekly news brief is sent every Wednesday and is a digest of current information on cancer care trends, treatments, legislative activity, and issues. To ensure that you receive The CoC Brief in your inbox, you should whitelist the sending e-mail address at

Take The CoC Brief with you on your smartphone or tablet. To find the app, search for MultiBriefs on iTunes for iPad and iPhone, on under Apps and Media, and Appworld for your Android.

Click here for the iPhone app.
Click here for the Android app.
Click here for the Blackberry app.

You can access The CoC Brief from the CoC homepage.  If you cannot access The CoC Brief, please contact Susan Rubin.

CoC Recognizes Long-Standing Programs

CoC-accredited cancer programs provide their communities with high-quality, multidisciplinary, patient-centered care. These 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.

This month, the CoC recognizes the following programs that have maintained their accreditation for 60 to 64 consecutive years (1949–1952). Congratulations to the following programs for reaching this milestone and for their commitment to providing quality cancer care.

Hospital of Saint Raphael, New Haven, CT (1949)
The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Torrington, CT (1949)
Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center, Bristol, TN (1949)
St. John Medical Center, Tulsa, OK (1949)
St. Francis Medical Center, Trenton, NJ (1949)
Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia, PA (1949)
Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX (1949)
Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, MN (1950)
Emory University Hospital Midtown, Atlanta, GA (1950)
Trinitas Jersey Street, Elizabeth, NJ (1950)
Trinitas - Williamson Street Campus, Elizabeth, NJ (1950)
Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Elizabeth, NJ (1950)
Boston VA Health Care System, Jamaica Plain, MA (1950)
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Oakland, CA (1950)
LAC-Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA (1950)
Summit Medical Center, Oakland, CA (1950)
VA Long Beach Healthcare System, Long Beach, CA (1950)
Madigan Healthcare System, Tacoma, WA (1951)
Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC (1951)
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD (1951)
Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, Tallahassee, FL (1951)
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD (1951)
Christiana Care Health System, Newark, DE (1951)
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA (1951)
Episcopal Hospital, Philadelphia, PA (1951)
Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA (1951)
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC (1951)
Bethany Medical Center, Kansas City, KS (1951)
University Health System, San Antonio, TX (1952)
Raymond G Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Albuquerque, NM (1952)
Phoenix Memorial Hospital, Phoenix, AZ (1952)
VA Medical Center - Louisville, Louisville, KY (1952)
Gonzalez Martinez Oncologic Hospital, San Juan, PR (1952)
VA Western New York Healthcare System, Buffalo, NY (1952)
Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester, New Rochelle, NY (1952)
Deaconess Hospital, Spokane, WA (1952)
Sacred Heart Medical Center-University District Campus, Eugene, OR (1952)
Salem Hospital, Salem, OR (1952)
Naval Ambulatory Care Center, Newport, RI (1953)
Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton, MA (1953)
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (1953)
VA Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre, PA (1953)
Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI (1953)
Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton, SD (1953)

CoC Announces Marketing Resource Page

In order to assist you in promoting your accreditation, the CoC has created a marketing resource page on the its website that includes the tools and resources you need in your marketing and public relations efforts. The web page is located on your facility Activity Menu contained within CoC Datalinks. If you do not have your CoC Datalinks information, please e-mail    

As a first step we strongly encourage you to post the CoC-Accredited Program logo in a prominent place on your facility’s website, in addition to other appropriate areas.

Currently, the following items are included for your use:

  • Accredited program logos
  • Sample press releases
  • Prepared statements
  • CoC promotional items
  • Brochures
We will be expanding the marketing resources to include sample advertisements, videos, and examples of marketing efforts. We encourage you to share your marketing efforts with the CoC as we continue to enhance the marketing resource page. Please let the CoC know how you are incorporating these and other resources into your marketing efforts. Please send screen shots of your website with the CoC logo or other marketing efforts to Your feedback is important. Please take a few minutes to help us provide you with the tools, resources, and support you need by completing the Feedback Form on the marketing page. 

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

This month we will introduce the newest tool submitted to the CoC Best Practices Repository.  These documents have been reviewed and approved by the Standards Advisory Group for Excellence (SAGE).

You’ve been asking for it and its finally here! The CAP Condensed Surgical Cancer Summary Checklists for 2011 and 2012. These checklists were provided by the College of American Pathology.  The document are easy to use, simply click on a site and a condensed list of data elements pops up.

We hope our constituents find this tool helpful as they prepare to comply with the new 2012 standards.  To view this document and other newly posted documents, follow the link to the Best Practice Repository.

We would like to thank our constituents, member organizations, and staff, for contributing tools and examples to the repository. We would like to encourage all accredited programs to share with us any best practice contributions you may have from your cancer program. Please visit the link above to download instruction for submitting best practices.

Coding Physician NPIs in the Registry

FORDS: Revised for 2013 requires the National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers for the managing physician, primary surgeon, oncologic radiologist, and medical oncologist. The respective NPI number should be recorded for the surgeon, radiologist, and medical oncologist when:

  • The individual provided treatment to the patient
  • The individual consulted with the patient about the treatment, even if the treatment was not given

Do not record an NPI number for the surgeon, radiologist, or medical oncologist if:

  • The individual had no contact with the patient, although he or she may have contributed to treatment decisions indirectly through a cancer conference or similar setting
  • The individual was someone other than the person who administered the treatment
  • The individual does not have an NPI number (do not use the group NPI)

The managing physician may also be the surgeon, radiologist, or medical oncologist, but should not be recorded in those fields unless he or she administered the respective treatment or consulted with the patient about the advisability of receiving that treatment.

Most physicians have NPI numbers, and for those who bill for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, the NPI number is required by federal law. Because they are used for billing, the most convenient resource for NPI numbers is billing offices. The hospital billing office may have NPI numbers for physicians on staff or who have routine practice privileges at the hospital. If not, the respective physician’s office can provide it. Finally, use the resource at to look up an Individual Provider.

Regardless of the source, always check the accuracy of the NPI obtained by looking up the number at To be certain the number is correct for the intended individual, check the following:

  • Do the provider’s name and place of practice match the information in your records?
  • Does the Provider Taxonomy (the treatment specialty) fit what the individual does?

The National Cancer Data Base’s review of NPI numbers submitted for lung cancer surgeons found a small number of entries as far afield as dermatologist and sleep specialist. These may result from typos, similar practitioner names, or other transcription problems, but additional research can help you correct the information.


Standard 4.3 Cancer Liaison Physician Responsibilities

The Committee on Cancer Liaison met during the 2013 CoC Spring Meetings in Chicago, May 16–17. A review of the Cancer Liaison Physician Activity Reports completed to date in the 2013 Survey Application Record revealed that only 61 percent of the 414 liaisons reporting were in compliance with Standard 4.3 in 2012. There are three components to compliance with Standard 4.3. Please review these compliance measures with your cancer committee.

  1. Each year, the Cancer Liaison Physician evaluates and interprets the program’s performance using the National Cancer Data Base Data. 
  2. The Cancer Liaison Physician reports this information to the cancer committee at least four times each year. 
  3. The Cancer Liaison Physician is present during the CoC survey and meets with the surveyor. 

The New American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs Online Education Portal is Now Open

The new American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs Online Education Portal is now open. This new initiative brings together the online educational offerings from the Cancer Programs of the American College of Surgeons, including the Commission on Cancer (CoC), National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).

Access the new portal through this link.

Be sure to view the instructional videos to learn how to set up a user ID and password and view the webinars. Through this new portal, CoC webinars are now FREE to cancer program staff in CoC-accredited cancer programs, and accessible by using your CoC Datalinks User ID and Password.  If you or your staff members do not have access to CoC Datalinks, please see the directions below. As it can take up to 3 days to process a request for a new CoC Datalinks user, we recommend that you submit your request immediately to allow processing time.

Special features of the new Cancer Programs Online Education Portal include:

  • Complimentary CoC webinars for all CoC-accredited program staff
  • Multiple search functions available through pull-down menus and a search topic box
  • Easy access to educational webinars developed by all ACoS Cancer Programs
  • Personal user account to access webinars and certificates
  • Instructional videos to use the new site
Existing accounts and contents on the CoC Online Education Portal will not be transferred to the new ACoS Cancer Programs Online Education Portal as new user accounts must be created to access the new site. At this time, webinars are no longer available for purchase on the CoC Online Education Portal and all users of this site will have two months to view any purchased webinars and print off certificates.

Directions to obtain access to CoC Datalinks (do not request access if you are already listed on the contacts page in CoC Datalinks)

-Contact your Registrar or Cancer Program Administrator at your CoC-accredited cancer program to request access to CoC Datalinks.

-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 either a “Datalinks Contact” or the most limited access role of “NCDB Tools User”.

-The CoC Datalinks Administrator will process this request (please allow up to 3 business days - processing time).  All new users will receive an email with login information from immediately upon processing.

-Keep your CoC Datalinks User ID and Password available to log in directly to the ACS Cancer Programs Education Portal (when it is available for use).

If you have any questions regarding access, please contact  

View the New Videos on the CoC Standards

The CoC has launched a new series of 29 free videos, created to assist you in understanding and interpreting the CoC Standards. This series includes an introduction video, two videos describing the Eligibility Requirements, and an additional 26 videos describing select standards.  Each video begins with the definition of the standard, describes the requirements for meeting the standard, and concludes with best practice information. These videos can be viewed individually, or shown during staff meetings to assist in clarifying standards requirements. We hope that you and other members of your cancer committee find these videos useful as you work to implement and maintain compliance with the CoC Standards.

Videos available on the CoC website or on YouTube.

New CoC Webinars Now Available

Learn more about the Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) and FORDS through three new webinars available on the ACoS Cancer Programs Online Education Portal.

Erica McNamara, MPH, MM, Quality Improvement Information Analyst for the National Cancer Database of the CoC presents two new pre-recorded webinars on RQRS:

This webinar, designed for individuals new to RQRS, provides a brief overview and describes the benefits and uses of RQRS for individual cancer programs.

This webinar, appropriate for new to intermediate users of RQRS, will cover how to navigate RQRS and use the information obtained for quality improvements in individual cancer programs.

Jerri Linn Phillips, MA, CTR, Manager, Data Standards for the National Cancer Data Base of the CoC presents a new pre-recorded webinar on FORDS:

This new webinar provides important information for intermediate to advanced Cancer Registrars, Co-registrars, Cancer Program Administrators, and other registry staff using FORDS. Three features will be covered in the presentation:
  1. Using the new Country codes
  2. Moving from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM
  3. When a hospital expands by buying medical practices or hiring physicians

Don’t forget, these webinars are complimentary to CoC-accredited cancer program staff accessing them through their Datalinks user id and $50 to all other participants.  Find more information on using your Datalinks user id on the Education Portal's FAQ page.

Be sure to bookmark the new ACoS Cancer Programs Online Education Portal where you will find all of your CoC educational webinars and more!

Survey Savvy 2013 Sold Out

Survey Savvy: Enhance Quality – Commit to Patient Centered Care, June 27-28, 2013 is sold out. 

Save the date for next year's Survey Savvy on June 19-20, 2014 in Chicago, IL. The Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) pre-conference half day workshop will be on June 18, 2014. Mark your calendars and plan on attending.

The 2014 workshop will be an introductory course, focusing on best practice experiences implementing the patient-centered standards with a 2015 phase-in, such as navigation, distress screening, and survivorship care plan.


Mahul B. Amin, MD, Named Editor-in-Chief of AJCC Cancer Staging Manual’s Eighth Edition 

Dr. Amin brings multidisciplinary approach and molecular-based medical perspective on cancer staging to national editorial position.

Mahul B. Amin, MD, FCAP, has been named Editor-in-Chief of the upcoming eighth edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. Dr. Amin is currently Chairman and Professor of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. He is a national and international expert and consultant on tumors of the genitourinary tract, including the prostate, urinary bladder, kidney, and testis, and served on the Executive Committee of the AJCC from 2003 to 2011. Programs of the AJCC, founded in 1959, are administered by the American College of Surgeons. 

The eighth edition of the Cancer Staging Manual, which is expected to be published in late 2015 for patients diagnosed with cancer after January 2016, will incorporate advances made in cancer research, staging, diagnosis, and treatment since the seventh edition was published in October 2009. 

The editorial development process will involve a collaboration of more than 500 cancer experts from around the world, and will cover more than 60 primary disease sites. 

Read more about Dr. Amin and the AJCC.

Open Call for Contributors
AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) is seeking cancer professionals to collaborate on the development of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition.

There are a number of opportunities available in two areas:

  • Disease Site Expert Panel: Members will research, author, review, or otherwise contribute to chapter content.
  • Review Core: Members will provide expert review of all content in the areas of evidence-based medicine and statistics, precision medicine, cancer registry and surveillance, and data harmonization.

The application can be accessed online

Please note that the AJCC will not accept any unsolicited curriculum vitaes. Only those who complete this application will be considered.  

The application period will close June 30.


National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers Surpasses the 500 Accredited-Centers Mark

Congratulations, you are part of the more than 500 accredited breast centers by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) with widespread distribution in 48 states including Alaska, Hawaii, and the territory of Puerto Rico. The 500-accredited-centers achievement comes after surpassing the 100-accredited-centers mark in 2009, a little more than one year after the NAPBC began the formal process of surveying breast centers for accreditation in September 2008.

Read the full press release.

Lead Your Breast Program to Excellence Conference
Learn from those who developed the standards
November 15-16, 2013

The NAPBC will host a dynamic two-day conference at the The Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago, IL on November 15-16, 2013.  Nationally recognized leaders will discuss critical success factors for comprehensive breast centers.   

Come learn how others ‘built’ their multidisciplinary breast center from the ground up using nationally recognized programs. Learn from the experts who developed the standards.  This two-day conference will include nationally recognized authorities discussing:
  • National Quality Programs: The What, Why, and How of NAPBC, NQMBC, and BICOE
  • Developing a High Quality Breast Program
  • Critical Success Factors for Developing Certification/Accreditation-worthy Breast Programs
  • Benefits and Cost-Effectiveness of Breast Center Programs
  • Defining Benchmarks for Breast Centers of Excellence
  • Breast Diagnostic, Treatment, and Management Quality Metrics
  • Aggressive Screening Programs, Patient Navigation, Genetic Risk Assessment and Counseling, Survivorship, and Advocacy
Additional information on this comprehensive conference will be communicated soon!

NAPBC Exhibit Schedule

The NAPBC will have an exhibit at the following meetings:

American Hospital Association Leadership Summit
July 25-27
Manchester Grand Hyatt
San Diego, CA

Breast Cancer Symposium 2013
September 7–9
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
San Francisco, CA

American College of Surgeons’ Clinical Congress

October 6–10
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, DC

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
December 10–14
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
San Antonio, TX

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.


NCRA Launches New Mentoring Program
The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) has established a new mentoring program to assist students and cancer registrars in earning the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR®) credential and to help current CTRs advance their careers. NCRA’s Mentoring Committee seeks to match mentors with the most appropriate mentee based on shared backgrounds, interests, and career goals. Mentors must be NCRA members in good standing and have held the CTR credential for at least two years, passing the CTR exam on or before March 2011. Mentors are eligible to receive one continuing education (CE) credit per five hours of mentoring, not to exceed three CEs per year.

NCRA’s Mentoring Committee will review completed information forms and make assignments. The mentor will be contacted first and will be charged with reaching out to the mentee. The mentor and mentee will then work together to craft a mentoring agreement that defines goals and objectives and outlines schedules and timelines.

To access FAQs on the program and to complete an online information form, go to or contact Mary Maul, manager, education programs, at 703-299- 6640 ext. 314 or by e-mail at

Share Your CTR Story
The Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR®) credential marks its 30th anniversary in 2013. This nationally recognized credential sets the standard for professional excellence in the cancer registry field, and it is 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 celebration of the 30th anniversary, NCRA is seeking stories on what the CTR credential has meant to a cancer registrar’s career. Responses may be published in NCRA's newsletter, The Connection. To learn more about the 30th anniversary of the CTR and how you can share your CTR story, visit

American Cancer Society's Cancer Survivor Program Resource Inventory

Cancer program administrators across the country have received a request to complete the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Survivor Program Resource Inventory.  This inventory asks questions about each survivorship program and support service offered by the facility, including: program name, program frequency, language(s) offered, audience, cancer-type specific, age-specific, gender-specific, phase of continuum, program/intervention type, program topic, delivery mode, delivery setting, facilitator type, and program cost to participant. In addition to these program-specific questions, the survey poses general questions about program evaluation, elements of evaluation, program promotion, and how program information is disseminated.

The American Cancer Society plans to compile the information into a list of programs and support services into an online, searchable repository. By doing so, they hope to increase the awareness of survivorship programs and services offered by various care delivery settings and in various geographic locations, which  will help direct survivors to these programs and services.

If you have not completed the survey, we would urge you to do so.  

SEER Releases New Cancer Statistics Review

The SEER Cancer Statistics Review (CSR), 1975–2010, published by the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Surveillance Research Program, was released on April 29. The report is available online. Materials posted include:

  • SEER CSR, 1975–2010
  • SEER Data, 1973–2010
  • Updated Stat Fact Sheets and Fast Stats
  • Delay Adjusted Incidence for SEER 9 and SEER 13
The updated CSR presents the most recent cancer incidence, mortality, survival, and prevalence statistics. All material in the SEER CSR report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission. Citation of this source is, however, appreciated.

In addition, the latest SEER data were also released through SEER*Stat on April 24.

Kathleen Cronin, PhD, MPH
Branch Chief
Data Analysis & Interpretation Branch 
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute
9609 Medical Center Drive
Room 4E454
Bethesda, MD 20892 (Normal Correspondence)
Rockville, MD 20850 (Overnight Courier)

Cancer Survivorship e-Learning Series for Primary Care Providers

The National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center, a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the George Washington University Cancer Institute, funded by a five-year cooperative agreement through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has launched a free innovative, online continuing education program to educate primary care providers on cancer survivorship.

The Cancer Survivorship e-Learning Series for Primary Care Providers contains information on the role of clinical generalists and specialists in providing follow-up care to cancer survivors, how to manage late and long-term medical and psychosocial effects of cancer and its treatments, and the importance of survivorship care planning. Free continuing education credits for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses are available. New content will be ongoing.

Read a press release containing information about these programs.    

GW Receives PCORI Research Award for Evaluating Cancer Survivorship Care Models

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has approved a $2.1 million, three-year research award to the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Institute, housed within the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the GW School of Public Health and Health Services, to evaluate cancer survivorship care models. The award is part of a portfolio of patient-centered research that addresses PCORI’s national research priorities and will provide patients with information that will help them make better informed decisions about their care. The award was approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract. Read the full article