CoC Brief
Mar. 6, 2013

Welcome to The CoC Brief — your weekly news update
The CoC introduces The CoC Brief, a weekly news brief that contains current information on cancer care trends, treatments, legislative activity and issues. This important resource is provided to the staff at all CoC-accredited programs. We hope that you share this news brief with other staff in your facility. Feel free to include the information in your internal and external newsletters. Your feedback is important to us. The CoC is looking to provide you with the services and tools you need to deliver quality patient care, and we are looking for your feedback. Please send your comments and suggestions on The CoC Brief to Susan Rubin at

Often a healthcare laggard, US shines in cancer treatment
When it comes to the state of the nation's health, the U.S. seems to get one poor grade after another. Despite spending more on health care, we've been slipping behind other high-income countries for life expectancy and healthy living. But when you drill down into the data and look at some specific diseases, there are areas where the U.S. isn't doing too badly at all, scientists from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation reported.More

Registration now open for Pursuing Excellence through Accreditation workshop
Registration is now open for the National Accreditation Program for Breast Center (NAPBC) one-day workshop — Pursuing Excellence through Accreditation at the American College of Surgeons' headquarters in Chicago on Friday, May 24. This workshop will provide detailed information related to the NAPBC components and standards, survey process, the quality measures and related requirements for 2013 and beyond. Attendance at this workshop will assist centers applying for accreditation, as well as centers due for re-accreditation in 2013. If you have questions, please contact the NAPBC office at 312-202-5185, or by e-mail at Online registration is now open. More

New drugs slow a fast-spreading cancer
The Wall Street Journal
Two new drugs for multiple myeloma, approved in recent months, promise to extend life expectancy for patients with the blood cancer. They follow new treatments that over the last decade have transformed the prognosis for multiple myelom — once a short death sentence — into a manageable condition that can be survived for up to seven years or more. There is still no cure for the disease.More

Save the date for Survey Savvy 2013
Plan to attend the Commission on Cancer (CoC) Survey Savvy education program June 27-28 in Chicago. Developed to provide information and tools for meeting the standard, the program highlights a variety of successful strategies implemented by facilities to meet the patient-focused and quality standards. Panel presenters will facilitate a series of breakout sessions where participants will be engaged in developing an action plan to address challenging issues in their cancer program. Additional information on the program will be available soon. More

Cancer pain undertreated, especially among minorities
Pain Medicine News
Results of a multicenter study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology show pain in cancer patients remains undertreated in many instances. The odds of under treatment are twice as high for minority patients. "Pain medicines are among the most commonly prescribed medications in cancer patients and pain is the most feared problem," said lead author Michael J. Fisch.More

Researchers to open enrollment in cancer prevention study
The Daily Process
Researchers are recruiting participants for an American Cancer Society research study called Cancer Prevention Study-3. The study will aim to examine genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer.More

Enough already! An urgent mandate for breast cancer prevention
The Huffington Post
American women are canaries in the coal mine of modern life. One hundred years ago, breast cancer was uncommon. But it has since become the most common cancer to affect women: 29 percent of all cancers in women start in the breast.More

Electronic health records improve colon cancer screening rates
CNN Health
Centralized record-keeping systems may help improve rates of colon cancer screening, according to a new study. Researchers at the Group Health Cooperative, a non-profit healthcare and insurance system in Washington state, used electronic health records to identify and monitor almost 5,000 patients who were due for a colon cancer screening but hadn't gotten it.More

Personalized patient-risk info enhances informed choice
Journal of the American Academy of Physicians Assistants
When patients are given personalized vs. generic risk information, they are better able to make genuinely informed choices about undergoing screening tests, according to research published online in The Cochrane Library. Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 41 studies involving 28,700 people to evaluate the role of personalized risk communication in informed decision making about taking screening tests, primarily for breast and colorectal cancer.More

Fatigue before cancer treatment impacts fatigue afterwards
News Medical
Individuals who survive cancer are significantly more likely to develop severe persistent fatigue a year after treatment if they were fatigued before and shortly after treatment, indicates Dutch study. More

Breast cancer linked to PTSD in some women
All Voices
Little is known about the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over time among women diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the study's background. Researchers examined changes in PTSD symptoms in the first six months after diagnosis and assesses racial/ethnic differences in PTSD symptomatology over time.More

Jane Wright, oncology pioneer, dies at 93
The New York Times
Dr. Jane C. Wright, a pioneering oncologist who helped elevate chemotherapy from a last resort for cancer patients to an often viable treatment option, died at her home in Guttenberg, N.J. She was 93. Wright descended from a distinguished medical family that defied racial barriers in a profession long dominated by white men. Her father, Dr. Louis T. Wright, was among the first black graduates of Harvard Medical School and was reported to be the first black doctor appointed to the staff of a New York City hospital.More

Modern cancer therapy harnesses ancient spiritual practice of quigong
Oncology Nurse Advisor
Another therapeutic intervention can be added to the list of effective palliative care modalities available for patients with cancer: qigong (CHI gung). A newly published study found that the ancient mind-body practice reduced symptoms of depression and improved quality of life in women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer.More