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

From the Director’s Desk

New Normal and New Uncertainties

Heidi Nelson, MD, FACS

Heidi Nelson, MD, FACS
Medical Director, ACS Cancer Programs

While we don't have the answers to all the questions about when and how we will return to a new normal, and we don't have ready solutions for how to address the aftermath of the affect the pandemic had on people's emotional well-being, we do promise to work with all of you to recover and move along to a better experience in the coming months. We will work to understand the science and the emerging national recommendations and translate that knowledge into safe practices for our American College of Surgeons (ACS) Cancer Programs. It will be our aspiration to practice empathy, compassion, and patience as we come back together. One step at a time we will get there together. We will do our best to provide advanced notification on changes you can expect so we can adapt together. Looking forward to seeing you all in person again, sometime soon.

Updates on the Next Phase of the Return to Screening PDSA and Clinical Study

By now, Commission on Cancer (CoC) and National Accreditation Programs for Breast Centers (NAPBC) that are participating in the Plan/Do/Study/Act (PDSA) and clinical research study (project and clinical study details are available online) have completed and submitted REDCap FORM A and have started implementing their first return to screening intervention. Congratulations and thank you!

In this second phase of the Return to Screening PDSA and clinical study, there are three key activities:

  • Monitor monthly screening rates in REDCap FORM B
  • Conduct as many interventions as needed to reach your monthly target screening rates.
  • Document in REDCap FORM C the interventions you are implementing that month.

The study team will be sending out REDCap FORMS B and C on Monday, June 7.

How to access and work within the REDCap FORMS:

  • E-mail communications with links to REDCap FORMS B and C will be sent to the individual who completed FORM A. Look for them in your e-mail inbox on June 7.
    • If this individual changes throughout the study period, or if the preferred e-mail address changes, please notify the study team
  • Clear instructions will arrive with the forms.
  • When the June 7 e-mail arrives (with links to FORMS B and C), open the links and complete the contact and institution information, as before. You may also add your April and May screening rates and check the boxes on interventions starting in June. Click the "save and return later" button.
  • In July and each subsequent month, the primary contact person will once again receive two e-mails that contain links to the most current versions of REDCap FORMS B and C for your institution.
  • Each month, you will update the information on monthly screening rates and interventions and click the "save and return later" button. REDCap will keep all of your information until you return and make changes. REDCap can be a running log for you to record institutional screening rates and interventions.
  • REDCap FORMS are unique to your program and cannot be shared.
  • Your program personnel can open the REDCap FORMS as often desired.
  • You will not submit the completed REDCap FORMs until December 2021 when the PDSA and clinical study are complete.

As questions come up, we will update the FAQ. As we make progress, we will share news with you, so please stay tuned in to the weekly Cancer Programs News.

New in JACS: The Benefits of Delayed Breast Reconstruction in T4 Breast Cancer

Despite limited evidence regarding its safety, immediate reconstruction (IR) is increasingly offered to women with T4 breast cancer. A new study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS), Reconstruction in Women with T4 Breast Cancer after Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy: When Is It Safe?, compared outcomes following IR, delayed reconstruction, and no reconstruction in patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and postmastectomy radiation therapy for T4 disease. The data analysis showed that IR was associated with significantly increased postoperative complications and delays in beginning radiation therapy. The authors concluded that delayed reconstruction was advantageous, particularly for patients with the most extensive tumors (T4d) because of fewer complications, earlier beginning of postoperative radiation therapy, and detection of tumor recurrence before reconstruction.

Celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day

National Cancer Survivors Day

June 6, 2021, marks the 34th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day® observance, which brings cancer survivors together to show that there is life after receiving a diagnosis of cancer.

American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs encourages you to observe this day. To help you promote this event, we have created a poster that you can download and print for display in patient areas. We also 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 early detection

To access these resources:

  • Commission on Cancer-Accredited Programs: Approved users can log into CoC Datalinks with their username and password. Under Resources, please click on "Resources to Market CoC Accreditation."
  • National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC)-Accredited Programs and National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers-Accredited Centers: Approved users can log into the Quality Portal with their username and password. In the left navigation, click on "Marketing Resources" within the Resources section.