American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer ‘ensures comprehensive, high-quality cancer care’
Congress members Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6) and Mike Kelly (R-PA-16), co-chairs of the House Cancer Caucus, introduced a resolution recognizing the 100th anniversary of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The commission, they said, “assesses quality standards in cancer treatment and prevention to ensure that all patients have access to high-quality care.”
Higgins said, “Cancer impacts far too many families, especially in Western New York. In the past 100 years, the Commission on Cancer has made significant progress in setting standards that ensure quality, comprehensive care, promote prevention, early detection, proactive treatment, and support to improve long-term health outcomes. Although we have already come a long way in the past century, with the technology and scientific knowledge available today even greater headway will be made in the next 100 years.”
Fitzpatrick said, “As co-chair of the House Cancer Caucus, I am pleased to join my colleagues to introduce a bipartisan resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Commission on Cancer. For a century, the Commission on Cancer has led the way in cancer prevention, research, education, and standardizing quality and comprehensive treatment for Americans battling this wretched disease. I look forward to working with the CoC and my colleagues in Congress to continue our fight for a cure.”
A press release noted, “The Commission on Cancer was established by the American College of Surgeons in 1922 as a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival rates, quality of life and overall health outcomes for cancer patients. The commission establishes standards to promote cancer prevention, research, education, and monitoring of comprehensive care. Comprised of individuals and representatives from more than 50 cancer-related organizations, the Commission on Cancer conducts surveys and collects standardized data from health care settings. This data is used to monitor treatment patterns and outcomes. In doing so, it is able to develop effective educational interventions that improve cancer prevention, early detection, cancer care delivery, and overall patient health outcomes.
“Today, the Commission on Cancer has over 1,500 accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico. The accreditation is a voluntary commitment by cancer programs to provide comprehensive, patient-centered care. Patients treated by accredited programs receive information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options, as well as access to a cancer database, which allows for life-long patient follow-up.
“Accredited programs care for about 70% of newly diagnosed cancer patients in the United States, using a team approach toward coordinating the best treatments available. This ensures access to the full scope of services required to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate and support both patients and families. Their patient-centered approach to cancer care includes distress screening, patient navigation, and survivorship care plans, which detail the treatments received and provide critical information on future care needs.”
The National Institutes of Health lists cancer as a leading cause of death worldwide. In 2018, there were 18.1 million new cases and 9.5 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. By 2040, the number of new cancer cases per year is expected to rise to 29.5 million, and the number of cancer-related deaths to 16.4 million.
Higgins’ team said, “This year, President Biden reignited the ‘Cancer Moonshot,’ which aims to reduce deaths from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years, and improve the experience of people and families living with cancer with the goal of ending cancer as we know it.”