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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the second most diagnosed and the leading cause of cancer-related death, claiming nearly 1.8 million lives1 worldwide in 2020. By mid-2021, an estimated 235,760 new cases and 131,880 deaths from lung cancer have been reported in the United States.2

There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLC, a slowly progressing lung cancer with few-to-no symptoms well into the advanced stage, accounts for 80 to 85% of patient diagnoses.3 SCLC, a rapidly growing and spreading cancer, accounts for 10-15% of all lung cancer diagnoses.3

While fragmentation of the healthcare system can impede consistent access to equitable care, gaps in the quality of cancer care delivery persist among certain patient populations due to prevailing social determinants of health4 and contribute to suboptimal outcomes.5-6


Defining Quality Care

ACCC has designed a quality benchmark to define ideal care for patients with stages III and IV non-small cell lung cancer, with an emphasis on leveraging the expertise of the multidisciplinary cancer team.
Explore Quality NSCLC Recommendations

“We have a paradox that with all the advances in research… there is a major gap in applying them to care. The nature of the multidisciplinary team is important and lung cancer is not just the realm of medical oncology—it's the realm of many different disciplines. Our emphasis in this work is uniting the different pieces of lung cancer care… [to find] the best way to care for patients.

David SpiegelDavid Spigel, MD,
Chief Scientific Officer; Director, Lung Cancer Research Program, Tennessee Oncology; Principal Investigator, Sarah Cannon Research Instituteend-quote

Explore this program:

Infographics & Video Summaries

Access new recommendations for defining high-quality care for this patient population through scientific presentations, infographics, and video summaries—broken down by multidisciplinary care team focus.

NSCLC Resource Library

Explore this robust resource bank of curated nationally-available materials to support your NSCLC patients. Filter by target audience (your clinical care team or your patients), cancer stage, or by keyword.

Improving Care Coordination

In order to identify and reduce barriers to care experienced by lung cancer patients covered by Medicaid, ACCC created a model framework to help cancer programs evaluate their current state of care coordination and identify areas of improvement. Assess Your Cancer Program

“The care coordination tool that ACCC developed [the Model] really helped us formally evaluate our program. We knew that patients diagnosed with lung cancer were getting lost in our system. We had a lot of late-stage lung cancer patients, and we needed to improve our case planning so we could identify those patients sooner."

sherri costa (1)Sherri Costa, MS, RN, AOCNS,
Manager of Cancer Support Services & Quality Improvement Coordinator, Ascension Wheaton Memorial Medical Centerend-quote

Explore this program:

6 Steps to Improve Care Coordination
See how this free, interactive online tool can help evaluate the current state of care coordination for lung cancer patients at your cancer program or practice, and identify focus areas for improvement and next steps.

Access Full Report
To leverage assessment results for the development of quality improvement projects, the Full Report is an ideal starting place. Its 12 Assessment Areas map to more than 100 quality measures for collecting and reporting data.


From Oncology Issues


  1. Cancer. World Health Organization. Updated March 3, 2021. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer

  2. Cancer Facts & Figures 2021. American Cancer Society. Updated 2021. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2021/cancer-facts-and-figures-2021.pdf

  3. What Is Lung Cancer? American Cancer Society. Updated October 2019. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/what-is.html

  4. Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis. Institute of Medicine. Published September 10, 2013. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.nap.edu/catalog/18359/delivering-high-quality-cancer-care-charting-a-new-course-for

  5. Slatore CG, Au DH, Gould MK. An Official American Thoracic Society Systematic Review: Insurance status and disparities in lung cancer practices and outcomes. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010;182(9):1195-1205.

  6. Pezzi TA, Schwartz DL, Pisters KM, et al. Association of Medicaid insurance with survival among patients with small cell lung cancer. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(4):e203277

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