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

The Brief: February 6, 2020

ACS Cancer Programs Updates

Self-Reflection: The NAPBC in 2020

Scott Kurtzman, MD, FACS
Chair, NAPBC

The need to standardize what was meant by a “Breast Center” led to the development of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) in 2008. Since then the NAPBC has set standards for breast centers to provide high-quality breast care, developed breast-focused quality measures, engaged in patient advocacy and provided educational offerings for the lay and medical community. Over the past decade the NAPBC went from just a few accredited centers to more than 550 centers in nearly every state of the country.

In the fall of 2018, the leadership of the NAPBC concluded that it was time to reexamine ourselves and renew our mission. Accordingly, after six months of preparation, the NAPBC Board held a strategic retreat conducted during the ACS Quality and Safety Conference in July 2019. The product of that activity was identification of three strategic drivers to support our mission (1) to better understand the value we bring to our centers; (2) to explore how we can give back more to our centers, especially with respect to data; and (3) to be more inclusive and reach out to hospitals and clinics that treat patients with breast diseases but might not have the capacity for full accreditation.

We have organized three taskforces around these strategic drivers that meet on a regular basis. The taskforces presented their work at our recent Board meeting in Arizona and continue to make progress on their initiatives. We fully expect positive outcomes from these taskforces that will add value for our centers and better serve our patients.

Registration open for 2020 ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit

Registration is open for the ninth annual American College of Surgeons (ACS) Leadership & Advocacy Summit, March 28–31 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel. The Summit is a dual meeting offering comprehensive and specialized sessions that provide ACS members, leaders and advocates with information on effective surgeon leadership, as well as interactive advocacy training with coordinated visits to congressional offices. Additional information is available on the ACS website.

Register today for April accreditation conference

Registration is now open for the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Cancer Accreditation Programs: New Content for a New Decade conference. Learn about the new

Commission on Cancer (CoC) Standards for 2020, as well as best practices for the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). Join us on April 22–24, 2020, at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, IL.

Three consecutive days of live programming will cover the following:

  • CoC Educational Summit—April 22
  • National Cancer Database (NCDB) Half-Day Workshop—April 23 (morning)
  • NAPBC Best Practices Conference—April 23 (afternoon) and all day April 24

All members of the multidisciplinary care team at health care facilities that treat patients with cancer are invited to attend, including, but not limited to:

  • Cancer committee members
  • Genetics professionals
  • Navigators
  • Nurses
  • Physicians (Cancer Liaison Physicians)
  • Program leadership (cancer program administrators, breast program directors, breast program leaders)
  • Registrars
  • Social workers

Please note, registration is limited to the first 200 participants. To learn more about the programs, please visit the event website.

2020 Jacobson Promising Investigator Award accepting submissions

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is accepting nominations for the 16th Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson II Promising Investigator Award to be conferred in 2020. This award has been established to recognize outstanding surgeons who are engaged in research that advances the art and science of surgery and who demonstrate early promise of significant contribution to the practice of surgery and the safety of surgical patients. The award is funded through a generous endowed fund established by the donors and administered by the ACS Surgical Research Committee (SRC).

To be considered for the 2020 award, applications must be submitted on or before February 21. 2020. Visit the award website to submit documentation and nomination materials. For additional information, please contact

Deadline to submit CAnswer Forum LIVE questions is April 21

Registration is now open for the next CAnswer Forum LIVE webinar from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm CST on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. In this webinar we will address the new 2020 Commission on Cancer (CoC) Standards and answer questions from cancer programs throughout the United States. Please submit your questions for this free webinar by 12:00 pm CST on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Cancer Programs is offering one continuing education credit from the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) for each of the 2020 CAnswer Forum LIVE webinars. If you missed previous CAnswer Forum LIVE sessions, visit our website to read about the NCRA continuing education credits and to view the recordings and download the slides.

ACS Cancer Programs offer career opportunities for CTRs

The American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs has two exciting career opportunities at its home office in Chicago, IL, for Certified Tumor Registrars (CTR) or CTR-eligible professionals with the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and the National Cancer Database (NCDB).

For details, visit the American College of Surgeons website:

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply online; however, if you have questions, please contact Cindy McWilliams, Talent Manager, at 312-202-5492 or


CTR Guide to Coding Radiation Therapy Version 2.0 now available

The Commission on Cancer Radiation Oncology Working Group is pleased to announce the distribution of the CTR Guide to Coding Radiation Therapy Treatment in the STORE version 2.0 to aid registrars in the coding of the 31 Radiation Data items defined in STORE. This document may also be found in the Resources section of the National Cancer Database web page.

An important update to the coding of brachytherapy (page 6):

If any phase of treatment to a volume has the Treatment Modality coded to anything between 07 and 16, the dose for that phase should be coded in cGy, when available. If there is only one phase in the entire course of radiation, then the phase dose can be used to record the course Total Dose. However, if there are multiple phases in a radiation course and any of the phases use a brachytherapy, radioisotopes or infusion therapy, then the Total Dose should be coded to 999998 (five 9s).

Effective with any cases diagnosed January 1, 2020, that received brachytherapy, we prefer the dosage be entered but will allow code 99999. The expectation is not a recoding of cases with diagnosis date prior to January 1, 2020.