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

New ACS Cancer Programs Guidelines for Surgery During COVID-19 Acute and Recovery Phases

As part of an ongoing effort to present a framework for providers facing the many challenging aspects of cancer patients' needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, American College of Surgeons (ACS) Cancer Programs leaders have released new guidelines for surgery during the acute and recovery phases.

ACS Guidelines for Triage and Management of Elective Cancer Surgery Cases During the Acute and Recovery Phases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic was developed by leaders of ACS Cancer Programs, including the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), Clinical Research Program (ACS CRP), Commission on Cancer (COC), National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC]) and the Quality Integration Committee (QIC). In addition, specialty societies provided collaboration and input for the guidelines.

The newly released guidelines cover the COVID-19 pandemic's acute phase, a time defined by governmental bans on "elective" surgery, as well as the recovery phase, when these bans most likely will be lifted and backlogs of patients will need urgent attention. While most among us would not consider cancer surgery as elective, some cancer surgeries are more urgent than others and this document helps to provide some guidance on prioritization strategies that may be helpful. As before, we fully appreciate that nothing takes the place of sound medical judgment and that local conditions and resources will dictate how and when patients receive their care.

ACS Cancer Program leaders are planning a webinar in the coming weeks to review and answer questions regarding the new guidelines. Please watch your email inbox for additional information once this webinar has been scheduled.