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

Commission on Cancer

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard setting, which promotes cancer prevention, research, education, and monitoring of comprehensive quality care.

The multidisciplinary CoC

  • Establishes standards to ensure quality, multidisciplinary, and comprehensive cancer care delivery in health care settings
  • Conducts surveys in health care settings to assess compliance with those standards
  • Collects standardized data from CoC-accredited health care settings to measure cancer care quality
  • Uses data to monitor treatment patterns and outcomes and enhance cancer control and clinical surveillance activities
  • Develops effective educational interventions to improve cancer prevention, early detection, cancer care delivery, and outcomes in health care settings.

Individuals and representatives of more than 50 cancer-related organizations comprise the membership of the CoC and contribute to the development of the CoC standards and accreditation program.

Today, there are more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico. CoC accreditation encourages hospitals, treatment centers, and other facilities to improve their quality of care through various cancer-related programs and activities. These programs are concerned with the full continuum of cancer—from prevention to survivorship and end-of-life-care—while addressing both survival and quality of life.

Synoptic Reporting Options

While compliance with CoC Standards 5.3–5.6 will not take effect until 2023, many programs are aware that it will take time to get electronic medical record synoptic reporting solutions in place. Programs are asking about new options available for synoptic operative reporting. We are providing the most current information about synoptic reporting solutions.

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Paper Competition

The Commission on Cancer is now accepting submissions for the annual Cancer Research Paper Competition. This year, papers can be submitted under one of two categories: clinical research or basic science. First, second, and third place winners will be selected from each category. Submission deadline is June 30.

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2020 Standards Updated

An updated version of Optimal Resources for Cancer Care (2020 Standards) is now available. The February 2021 version includes the previously-announced updates to the NCDB submission standards. Also included in the updated manual are revisions to the Operative Standards (Standards 5.3-5.8).

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Resuming Screening

Commission on Cancer partners with leading cancer organizations to endorse the resumption of appropriate cancer screening and treatment to prevent excess deaths during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Surgeon Voices

Frederick L. Greene, MD, FACS on the ACS CoC

Dr. Frederick Greene, medical director, Cancer Data Registry at the Levine Cancer Institute, discusses the Commission on Cancer history, the recent virtual CoC conference, and the National Cancer Database.

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Cancer Screening

The American Cancer Society has created a convenient Full Guidance Toolkit of six guidance documents on how to manage and promote cancer screening, cancer screening messages, and HPV vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

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Virtual Site Visit Webinar

The recording of the CoC, NAPRC and NAPBC Virtual Site Visits—What Programs Need to Know webinar is available in CoC Datalinks, NAPBC and NAPRC portals. This webinar reviews the plans for each ACS Cancer Program, share results from the pilot site visits, and discuss how the virtual plan can be used by interested programs during the pandemic.

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2021 Requirements

In an email sent September 16, the specific standards required for implementation in 2021 as described in the Optimal Resources for Cancer Care (2020 Standards) were outlined. Programs scheduled for a site visit in 2022 will be reviewed on 2020 and 2021 program activity.

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PUF Data Available

The NCDB is pleased to announce that the Participant User File (PUF) application for 2004-2017 PUF data is now open. The NCDB is accepting applications for site-specific files. The PUF application is open year-round, except for periods of brief maintenance and updates. Please note, there are major changes to the PUF web page and PUF data.

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