UNM Health Sciences Center Approved by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons

            The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons has granted approval to the UNM Cancer Research & Treatment Center.


            Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1932, the Approvals Program sets standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to make sure they conform to those standards. Recognizing that cancer is a complex group of diseases, the program promotes consultation among surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary cooperation results in improved patient care.


            Receiving care at a Commission on Cancer approved cancer program ensures that patients will have access to:


  • High quality care close to home; 
  • Comprehensive care offering a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment; 
  • A multi-specialty, team approach to coordinate the best treatment options available to cancer patients; 
  • Information about cancer clinical trials, education and support; 
  • Lifelong patient follow-up through a cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results; 
  • Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care. 

Approval by the Commission on Cancer is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to provide the best in diagnosis and treatment of cancer and to undergo rigorous evaluation processes and review of their performance. In order to maintain approval, facilities with approved cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.


      The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 1,334,100 cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2003. Slightly more than one-fifth of the country's hospitals have approved cancer programs and more than 80 percent of patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer are treated in those facilities.


      The Commission on Cancer is composed of the Fellows of the American College of Surgeons and other members representing 36 national cancer-related organizations. Postgraduate courses, symposia and programs about cancer are developed by the Commission for health care professionals involved in cancer care.


      Working with the American Cancer Society, the Cancer Liaison Program of the Commission on Cancer is supported by more than 1,500 voluntary Liaison Physicians who support cancer-control initiatives and the cancer program activities locally. The Commission also tracks national, regional and local cancer care patterns and trends through the National Cancer Database, another joint project with the American Cancer Society.


In addition, the Commission sets standards for cancer registry data collection used by all approved cancer programs and conducts national quality management and improvement studies for specific cancer sites. Results of these studies are used by cancer program leadership to monitor and improve patient care.


The UNM Cancer Research & Treatment Center, founded in 1972, is the only academic health care facility in the state dedicated to both cancer research and patient care.

Contact: Lynn Melton, 272-3322

Related Stories

Field Notes

Field Notes

HERO Chantel Lovato Collects Face Masks for Santa Rosa Businesses