American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

September 2015 CoC Source

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Download the Breast Cancer Awareness Poster

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and the Commission on Cancer (CoC) encourage your program to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month and use it as an opportunity to display and promote your accreditation status. To help you publicize this event within your program and the community, the NAPBC and the CoC have created a poster that you can download and print. Programs that are solely accredited by the CoC or by both the CoC and NAPBC can access the poster by logging into CoC Datalinks and clicking on Marketing Resources. Staff at programs that are solely  NAPBC-accredited breast centers can log into the NAPBC portal and click on the “2015 Breast Cancer Awareness Month Poster” link in the “View Downloadable Center Resources” section to access the marketing resources webpages. For more information, contact Sue Rubin at

Hey Cancer Programs, We Hear You!

Recently, the CoC sent an e-mail to all accredited cancer programs requesting that members complete an online survey. Our goal was to better understand our accredited programs’ perspectives by receiving feedback on CoC Datalinks (the CoC’s web portal), the CoC website, and overall customer service. 

We received an impressive 825 responses, including a number of detailed and helpful comments. The CoC staff is mining through the data to examine common trends and issues that may need improvement. These survey results are also being shared with our IT department and the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) staff. This is the first time they have seen end-user feedback on the projects and tools they have created, programmed, and monitored. 

Some areas we are addressing based on responses include:

  • Redundancy and repetition of data entry into the Survey Application Record (SAR)/Program Activity Record (PAR). The goal is for cancer committee minutes and other uploaded documentation to be robust and complete with proper discussions outlined. This eliminates the need for a number of free-text boxes requesting additional information and reduces extra work for programs.
  • Minimizing updates to the SAR/PAR throughout the year. While the CoC staff needs to make changes to the SAR/PAR to improve functionality, we understand mid-year changes can be frustrating. Therefore, we will only be making changes once per year.
  • Improvements to the instructional materials on how to complete the SAR/PAR.
  • More consistency in what is required in the SAR/PAR versus what is stated in the CoC Standards Manual as required compliance for the standards.
  • Timeliness, helpfulness, and friendliness of customer service. We have a small Accreditation & Standards team, which affects how quickly we can respond, but we are determined to be as available and helpful to our programs as we can! 

Thank you to everyone who took time to participate and know that your feedback is valuable and meaningful to the CoC!

Don't Miss the Cancer Liaison Physician Breakfast

The CoC Cancer Liaison Program will host this year’s Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) breakfast on Monday, October 5, 6:30–8:00 am, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick, Regency Ballroom.  

The breakfast will feature presentations by the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) on the additions to the measures and the CLP education plan moving forward.  There will be a focus on colorectal cancer screening once again, with a recap from the Hospital Strategy Meeting that will be held just prior to the Clinical Congress meetings.  There will be a presentation of resources and videos our CLPs can use, as well as a mock CLP report, at the breakfast.  

We value our CLPs who have dedicated their time to be champions for quality but also liaisons to the CoC and the American Cancer Society. There will be special recognition for our long-standing liaisons during this year’s CLP Breakfast.  Come and recognize the important work of these cancer leaders from CoC-accredited programs.  

For more details, please e-mail Andréa Scrementi at

Last Chance in 2015 to Attend CoC Accreditation 101

Accreditation 101: Learning the Basics of CoC Accreditation and Standards is the only program developed and taught by CoC surveyors and staff that reviews the CoC Standards, provides practical information on how to achieve compliance, and discusses the important role you and your cancer team play throughout the continuum of cancer care.

Get the information you need from the people involved in standard development and the survey process.

Date: Friday, September 11, 2015
Time: 7:00 am - 4:30 pm
Location: Hilton Baltimore,  401 W. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD  21201, 443-573-8700

To learn more, visit the Accreditation 101 web page. There you'll find more information, including program agenda and hotel information. 

Registration Fees: $850 

This fee includes a copy of the latest issue of the Standards Manual, ($50.00 value), resource materials, breakfast, lunch, and breaks.


Reserve your hotel
We are now past the deadline for the discounted rate at the hotel. Let them know you are attending Commission on Cancer Accreditation 101, but all rooms are now first-come, first serve. 

Please share this information with other members of your staff who would benefit from the information that is being presented.

Continuing education credit will NOT be offered for this program. 


AJCC Registrar Curriculum: Module IV Recording Now Available 

Two continuing education (CE) credits are being offered for Modules II–IV. Recordings for Module I, Module IIModule III, and Module IV are available through the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) website. Module I Introduction is not eligible for CE credits.

The AJCC Curriculum for Registrars launched in January 2015. The curriculum was designed to provide education in a step-wise learning environment, complete with additional resources to reinforce the information and webinars with quizzes to prompt discussion and serve as a self-assessment for the information learned. This is self-guided, adult learning, and you are expected to review the lessons before attending the recorded webinars.

Please remember to use the CAnswer Forum for questions related to the webinars.


Free Interactive Webinars Coming Soon

The American Cancer Society is hosting a series of webinars in collaboration with the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).  The breast cancer topics that will be covered are intended for primary health care providers, so NAPBC-accredited breast centers are encouraged to invite the primary care physicians and gynecologists in their communities to take part in these webinars. Each webinar will be free, and participants will be able to submit questions to the presenters.

Webinar Schedule

  • Genetic Testing 101: Identifying High Risk Individuals - September 28
  • Risk Modification and the Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle - October 15
  • Imaging: Identifying Who to Screen - November 23

Invitations with registration information will be e-mailed and posted to our webpage and Twitter.

Contact Us
Twitter: @NAPBC_ACS


Sharpen Your Skills with NCRA's New Online Case Studies

The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) has produced 15 online cancer case studies to provide opportunities for registrars to practice assigning AJCC TNM Stage and coding SEER Summary Stage. The correct answers and corresponding rationales are provided upon the completion of each case. The Online Case Studies can be found on NCRA’s Center for Cancer Registry Education.

Apply by September 18 for Last 2015 CTR Exam Testing Window

The deadline to submit an application to take the CTR Exam in fall 2015 is September 18. The last 2015 testing window is October 17–November 7. Learn more and download the 2015 CTR Exam Candidate's Handbook at

Free Fundamentals of Cancer Webinar

NCRA is offering a complimentary one-hour webinar, “Fundamentals of Cancer: Carcinogenesis and Hallmarks of Cancer,” September 23, at 2:00 pm (Eastern). Presenter Peggy Gray, RN, MSN, AOCNS, clinical nurse specialist, Genentech BioOncology, will review the fundamentals of cancer formation and discuss the major groups of genes involved in its formation. She will also identify distinguishing features and characteristics of cancer and discuss evolving concepts and emerging hallmarks. The webinar is free, but registration is required.

Need Help Staging Cancer In Situ for Breast, Bladder, and Colon?

Presented by Melissa Riddle, CTR, NCRA’s 90-minute “Staging Cancer In Situ: Breast, Bladder, and Colon” live webinar is scheduled for September 30 at 2:00 pm (Eastern). Registrars often find staging cancer in situ to be confusing because many of the staging rules do not apply. What's the difference between Tis and Ta when staging a bladder case? What are the FORDS and National Cancer Data Base rules on leaving stage groups blank? What should be done when staging requirements are not available as drop-down fields in your cancer registry software? The webinar will answer these questions and discuss the nuances and unique aspects of staging cancer in situ. Register at

View 2015 Sessions on AJCC TNM Stage and NCI Summary Stage

NCRA has posted for viewing, free of charge, the 2015 annual conference sessions on the AJCC TNM Stage and NCI Summary Stage transition. Individuals seeking information on the transition and what it entails will benefit by viewing these sessions. CEs can be purchased separately. Visit