Bassett Cancer Institute was recently granted a three-year accreditation by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

The Commission on Cancer is a consortium of organizations that works to help cancer patients through a setting of standards, prevention, education and monitoring care, according to American College of Surgeons’ website.

The cancer program has been continuously accredited since 1947, making it one of the longest-standing accredited programs in the country, according to a media release from Bassett Healthcare.

The accreditation process occurs every three years and involves an on-site, evaluation and performance review process to assure cancer programs meet the Commission on Cancer’s quality of care standards, according to the release. These standards include prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow up for recurrent disease and end-of-life care.

Dr. Alfred Tinger, medical director and chief of the Bassett Cancer Institute said cancer programs can have up to seven deficiencies in Commission on Cancer measures and still be accredited. At Bassett Cancer Institute’s last accreditation, it had zero deficiencies, he said.

Tinger said Bassett Cancer Institute treats its patients with a holistic approach. Specialists are familiar with patient demographics, financial and nutritional needs, and social workers and dietitians are available for those who need them. Specialists also meet at least once a week to discuss new or challenging cases and how to provide better care, Tinger said. 

Like all Commission on Cancer-accredited facilities, the Bassett Cancer Institute contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base, a joint program of the Commission on Cancer and American Cancer Society, according to the release. This data is analyzed and used to explore cancer care trends. Tinger said this data is completely anonymous and includes things like socio-demographic information, diagnoses, survival rates, side effects and toxicity.

Commission on Cancer-accredited facilities have access to information from the data analysis, allowing for comparison with other institutions across the country, Tinger said.

“Our comparisons don’t give us any cause for concern,” Tinger said.

According to the American Cancer Society’s website, in 2019, an estimated 1,762,450 new cancer cases will be diagnosed and there will be 606,880 cancer deaths in the United States.

Shweta Karikehalli, staff writer, can be reached at skarikehalli@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_ShwetaK on Twitter.

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