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

April 2016 CoC Source

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CoC News

National Cancer Survivors Day

Sunday, June 5, marks the 29th annual National Cancer Survivors Day®, which brings cancer survivors together to show that there is life after receiving a diagnosis of cancer.

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) encourage you to observe this day and use it as an opportunity to display or promote your CoC and NAPBC accreditation statuses. To help you promote this event within your program and the community, we have created a poster that you can download and print. If your program holds accreditation from the CoC only or both the CoC and NAPBC, you can access the poster by going to CoC Datalinks and clicking on Marketing Resources. For programs that are accredited solely by NAPBC, use the link to the Marketing Resources website provided in your performance report e-mail notification.

We encourage you to 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

Additional resources to promote your event are available on the National Cancer Survivors Day website. Please let us know about your celebration by sending photos and event information to Susan Rubin, Business Development Manager, ACS Cancer Programs.

Meet Cancer Staff at Upcoming Exhibits

The CoC and NAPBC will be exhibiting at the following meetings. Please stop by our booth and meet our staff.

NCoBC 2016
Sponsored by the National Consortium of Breast Centers
April 9–13 in Las Vegas, NV
Exhibit days: April 9–11

NCRA’s 42nd Annual Conference
Sponsored by the National Cancer Registrars Association
April 10–13 in Las Vegas, NV
Exhibit Days: April 11–13

ASBrS 17th Annual Meeting
Sponsored by the American Society of Breast Surgeons
April 13–17 in Dallas, TX
Exhibit Days: April 14–16

Advocacy Update

CoC Advocacy Committee Responds to FDA's Ban on Tanning Beds for Underage Patrons

The CoC's Advocacy Committee submitted comment to the FDA on "General and Plastic Surgery Devices: Restricted Sale, Distribution, and Use of Sunlamp Products" (Docket No. FDA-2015-N-1765). The American College of Surgeons and CoC strongly support the proposed rule, which will ban individuals under the age of 18 from using an indoor tanning facility. The CoC believes this rule should be finalized and implemented. Click here to review the full comment.

Accreditation Corner

Understanding Standard 4.7 Studies of Quality

Cancer programs continue to request clarification and assistance with creating quality studies that meet compliance with Standard 4.7.

As a resource to help programs, CoC staff has prepared an informational document that outlines the process requirements for quality studies and identifying national benchmarks or guidelines to compare your study data to.

Cancer programs may locate this helpful document on the Standards Resource Library under Standard 4.7.

You must be a registered user to obtain access to both the CAnswer Forum and the Standards Resource Library.

About Fees and Invoices

For information on the 2016 annual accreditation fee or invoice, visit our 2016 Accreditation Fees page, which includes a link to our frequently asked questions document.

Resources for Cancer Liaison Physicians

Attention CLPs: Save the Date!

During 2016, the Committee on Cancer Liaison will hold two breakfast meetings for Cancer Liaison Physicians (CLPs) to hear new initiatives and to network with CLPs from across the U.S.

The first CLP breakfast meeting will take place in conjunction with the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) “Collective Wisdom” annual meeting, 6:30 am–7:30 am, Monday, June 6 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick, Chicago, IL. All in attendance for the ASCO meeting are welcome to attend. Contact if you plan to attend this meeting. Be sure to include your facility’s name and your role (for example: CLP, registrar, cancer committee chair).

The second CLP breakfast meeting will be held in Washington, DC on Monday, October 17, in conjunction with the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress.

We hope to see you there!

Educational Programs and Resources

Register Today for the 2016 CoC Annual Conference: Pathway to Quality

Join us June 1-3, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago (Rosemont), IL to learn more about how each member of the cancer committee adds value to the team to create a first-rate cancer care program. In addition, you will learn more about how to maximize the NCDB tools to make the best use of your cancer program's data.

The conference provides a comprehensive look at Commission on Cancer (CoC) standards and the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) tools and resources. In addition, the conference addresses a cancer program's common questions and concerns regarding CoC standards and compliance as well as the knowledge needed to lead quality improvement initiatives using NCDB tools.

The first two days focus on the CoC Standards and the value each cancer committee role contributes to create a first-rate quality cancer care program. Day three provides an in-depth look at the use of the NCDB tools, as well as best practices to maximize your cancer program's data.

To learn more, visit the event web page.

News from ACoS Cancer Programs


Join the AJCC at NCRA’s 42nd Annual Education Conference – April 10-13

Dr. Mahul Amin is the Editor-in-Chief of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition. He will be one of the many presenters at the NCRA Annual Conference speaking on behalf of the AJCC. Dr. Amin will provide information regarding the release of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition on Tuesday, April 12 at 1:15 pm in Paradise South. He will discuss the partnerships that contributed to the work, and examine the expansion of the General Staging rules, new disease sites, changes to current disease sites, and the new factors for data collection in the 8th Edition.

During Dr. Amin’s “Update on the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition” the following objectives will be covered:

  • Examine highlights of the content of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition
  • Identify education and training plans for the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition
  • Outline the release information for the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 8th Edition

AJCC’s Technical Specialist, Donna Gress, RHIT, CTR will be presenting “Timing is the Key to AJCC TNM Staging”, on Monday, April 11 at 3:30 pm in Paradise South. Ms. Gress has over 35 years in the HIM and cancer registry fields, is a past president of NCRA and received the NCRA Distinguished Member Award. Gress co-authored the content of the AHIMA/NCRA Cancer Registry Management classes and was an editor of Cancer Registry Management Principles and Practice Third Edition. Ms. Gress will review common themes and key concepts that registrars question. She will share a new graphic illustrating the relationship between clinical, pathologic, clinical, pathologic staging and discuss the patient care timeline. Ms. Gress will provide examples of how physician staging is entered into the registry data fields and review how information on a staging form is entered into the registry abstract.

During Ms. Gress' presentation the following objectives will be covered:

  • Define staging classifications as points in time of a patient’s care
  • Learn more about the AJCC staging rules and their relationship to current medical practice
  • Translate physician stage for inclusion in registry data fields

AJCC Manager Martin Madera is one of the four panel speakers Monday, April 11, 2:15-3:15 pm at the “Staging the Future” session. Along with representatives from the Commission on Cancer, the National Program for Cancer Registries and NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Reporting Program, Mr. Madera will provide an organizational perspective on the future of cancer staging as it relates to the registries. Mr. Madera will highlight the training initiatives the AJCC is planning for registrars on the 8th Edition in the coming months.

The panelists will address the following objectives in their presentations:

  • Review the rationales for recent changes in how cancer is staged
  • Understand current research and treatment/care innovations that will affect how cancer is staged
  • Identify ways to prepare for the pending changes, including what training programs and initiatives are planned in the coming years


NAPBC Best Practices Conference
Friday, May 13–Saturday, May 14
Orlando, FL

Join us May 13−14 at the B Resort and Spa in sunny Florida for the NAPBC Best Practices Conference. This conference will showcase successful processes and tools of National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC)-accredited breast centers. Breast program leaders and care team members will share innovative and efficient methodologies that have been implemented in NAPBC-accredited programs across the country and will offer attendees tools for adoption of these best practices in their own centers.

Contact Us:
(312) 202-5185

News from the Oncology Community

2016 International Cancer Education Conference

The American Association for Cancer Education (AACE) and the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN) are hosting the 2016 International Cancer Education Conference in Bethesda, MD, September 14–16. The conference theme is Promoting Cancer Education, Equity, and Precision Medicine Globally. The only multidisciplinary conference focused on cancer education in North America, the meeting will assemble experts with a global perspective to share best practices in cancer care: education, screening, prevention, research, precision medicine, survivorship, and palliative care, with a focus on serving the needs of special populations and addressing disparities. Research and programs in the following topic areas will be covered: all cancers, targeted therapies, precision medicine, health literacy, survivorship, education, outreach, and disparities.

The 2016 conference plans to attract more than 250 educators, physicians, nurses, public health professionals, researchers, students, and social workers from around the world. This is a unique opportunity to network, present your research and programs as an oral or poster presentation, or have a display and reach key decision makers in the field of cancer education and research. The abstracts presented at this conference are published in a supplement of our official journal, Journal of Cancer Education. Abstract submission deadline is April 11.


National Cancer Registrars Week is April 11–15
Cancer registrars throughout the world will join their colleagues, fellow medical professionals, and community leaders to observe the 20th annual National Cancer Registrars Week (NCRW), April 11–15. The purpose of NCRW is to emphasize the important role cancer registrars play in capturing the data that informs cancer research, prevention, and treatment programs. The 2016 theme is Cancer Registrars: The Heart of Improving Cancer Care. To learn more, including a press release, details on ways to celebrate, and graphic files, go to

Register for NCRA 2016, Conference Program Posted
Register today for the National Cancer Registrars Association’s (NCRA's) 42nd Annual Educational Conference, April 10–13 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. The program has been designed to keep registrars up-to-date with advancements and changes in the field and to ensure a smooth transition from Collaborative Stage to directly coded staging. Attendees can earn up to 18 continuing education credits in three days. NCRA will also offer poster sessions in 2016 to provide attendees additional opportunities to learn how cancer registry data impact public health and what’s new in the industry. The final conference program has been posted. To learn more and register, go to

NCRA Seeks associate editor for the Journal of Registry Management
NCRA's board of directors is seeking candidates with strong writing and editing skills to be considered for appointment as the associate editor of the Journal of Registry Management (JRM). Interested candidates need to complete an online candidate profile by April 15. Access the online candidate profile.

NCRA Seeks Mentors
NCRA receives many questions about the cancer registry field, the role of registrars, and the paths to the certified tumor registrar credential. The best people to answer these questions are cancer registry professionals. Please consider becoming a mentor. Learn more and register online to participate in NCRA’s formal mentoring program at

Quit Smoking Before Your Cancer Surgery - A New ACS Resource

Nearly 20 percent of patients undergoing surgery are smokers. Smoking significantly increases all surgical complications and increases the risk of cancer reoccurrence and secondary cancers. Smokers are more likely to quit permanently when counseled by their health care professional during the preoperative period.


The ACS Quit Smoking Before Surgery brochure for patients is applicable to all surgical specialties and includes a smoking cessation plan. “It Pays for Your Patients to Quit Smoking Before Surgery: Outcomes, Interventions and Reimbursement” is your professional resource presenting evidence about the impact of smoking, the benefits of preoperative cessation, guidelines to counseling, and resources to understand coding and reimbursement.

Quit Smoking

The American College of Surgeons designates this e-activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

Find the patient education program and all patient resources on the ACS website.