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Colon cancer care continues to evolve

Over the last 50 years, cancer care has evolved from its primary focus on local disease to a sophisticated, multidisciplinary approach to achieve the level of high quality care that is now available in the United States and around the world.

The outlook for people afflicted with cancer — as well as the impact of treatment on quality of life — has improved dramatically.

The Accreditation Program encourages hospitals, treatment centers, and other facilities to improve their quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs.  One of the most recent revisions of the CoC Cancer Program Standards includes Patient Outcomes.  The role of this standard is to ensure that evaluation and treatment conforms to evidence-based national treatment guidelines using appropriate prognostic indicators.

From January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010, 35 patients were diagnosed with colon cancer and treated at Backus Hospital, 33 of the 35 underwent surgical resection.  We reviewed their records with special attention on whether they received the following standard of care listed in NCCN guideline:

  • Pre-op CEA (blood test)
  • Pre-operative CT scan
  • Circumferential resection margin reported
  • Perineural invasion
  • MSI status
  • 12 or more regional lymph nodes removed and examined
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy is considered and/or recommended within 4 months of diagnosis for stage III or high risk Stage II patients under the age of 80.

The last two indicators are part of a National Quality Forum (NQF) and are collected by The American College of Surgeons during the call for NCDB data.  Performance rates provide cancer programs with an indication of the proportion of patients undergoing colon resection that represents the care provided.

In terms of regional nodal removal of greater than 12 nodes, our program had a success rate of 86.4%, which is comparable with national and state average.

In terms of use of adjuvant chemotherapy, our cancer program correctly offered chemotherapy to 100% of patients, which is above national and state average.

Based on the above statistics, our cancer program’s performance is equivalent to and above our peers.