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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in both men and women (excluding skin cancer), accounting for about 14 percent of all new cancers. In 2018, the American Cancer Society estimates that the U.S. will see about 234,030 new cases of lung cancer (121,680 in men and 112,350 in women), and about 154,050 deaths from the disease (83,550 in men and 70,500 in women).

While the prognosis of lung cancer is serious, ongoing advances in lung cancer screening, diagnosis, along with new and evolving treatments modalities are bringing new options for patients with lung cancer

Source: American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Lung Cancer.

Lung Screening Resources

In December 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) grade "B" recommendation for CT screening for high-risk individuals was made final. The USPSTF defines as high-risk factors as:

  • People ages 55-80
  • Those with ≥ 30 pack-year smoking history
  • Current or former smokers who have quit within the past 15 years.

On February 5, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final national coverage determination (NCD) that provides for Medicare coverage of screening lung cancer with low dose computed tomography (LDCT). The coverage was effective immediately.

Many ACCC member programs are interested in developing and/or enhancing their programs for lung cancer screening. ACCC is pleased to partner with the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) on a web section featuring resources on lung cancer screening programs.
Explore Lung Cancer Screening Resources

Featured Programs

Testing and Treating ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Advances in diagnostics and treatments for lung cancer have led to the development of targeted therapies for some lung cancer subtypes. Patients with ALK+ non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may be appropriate candidates for such targeted therapy. Previously, this ACCC education project explored barriers and issues related to testing and treating patients with ALK+ NSCLC, a less common subtype of NSCLC. In this latest project report, read how five ACCC Cancer Program members are effectively diagnosing and managing patients with ALK+ NSCLC. Approaches include thoracic oncology teams working to optimize molecular testing, telemedicine, leveraging EHR technology, and more.
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Optimal Care Coordination Model for Lung Cancer Patients on Medicaid

In 2016 the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) launched a three-year initiative to develop an optimal care coordination model to serve Medicaid patients with lung cancer. Through a collaborative approach, the project will focus on building effective partnerships among community organizations, patients, and primary and specialty providers with the goal of providing stakeholders a scalable plan for outreach and treatment that is replicable and sustainable across cancer programs. Seven ACCC Cancer Program members are currently conducting quality improvement projects to test a care coordination model developed through this project. The work is supported by a three-year grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF).
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Molecular Testing in the Community Setting

The evolution of biomarker-driven medicine to diagnose and treat lung cancer continues to play a central role in the delivery of precision medicine for patients. Bio-marker testing provides specific information about a patient’s tumor that can be used in diagnosis, development of a treatment plan, and in following the patient’s progress. ACCC process improvement resources focused on molecular testing in lung cancer include:

  • Learning Labs for Process Improvement. Eight ACCC Cancer Program member institutions participated in these facilitated learning labs, focused on improving molecular testing at the system level. The project identified key areas for improvement and developed potential action items for each.
  • New! A.C.T. (Assess, Change, Test) on Molecular Testing. For this project, ACCC, LUNGevity, CHEST, and CAP have partnered on creating a process improvement toolkit for molecular testing programs for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The toolkit materials are designed to help team members conduct process improvement initiatives for integrating, optimizing, and tracking biomarker testing at their sites. Access these resources and start your own process improvement initiative today by visiting the ACCC e-learning portal. If you have any questions about getting started, please reach out to us at
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Understanding & Improving Lung Cancer Treatment in Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in the Community Setting

This white paper explores the unique challenges facing this growing patient population, including disparity and access issues, communication and cultural barriers, and issues related to lung cancer management and treatment. Plus, practical improvement strategies to help cancer programs meet these challenges and improve patient care.

From Oncology Issues

  •  Making the Case for an HIV Oncology Clinic
    By Marco A. Ruiz, MD
    Though the incidence of AIDS-defining cancers (Kaposi’s sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and invasive cervical carcinoma) has decreased with the use of antiretroviral therapy, numerous studies suggest that non-AIDS-defining cancers (cancers not previously associated with HIV and AIDS) appear to be increasing in incidence.
  •  Highlights from ASCO 2018
    By Cary A. Presant, MD, FACP, FASCO
    ASCO 2018 offered a wealth of new data that will continue to transform clinical practice and cancer program development. Most important, implementation of the scientifi c advances we learned at ASCO 2018 will improve the length and quality of life of our cancer patients.
  •  Testing and Treating ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
    ACCC launched the “Testing and Treating ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer” project in 2016 to support community-based cancer programs and practices in the use of precision medicine and molecular testing in caring for patients with ALK+ NSCLC.
  •  The Rapid Access Chest and Lung Assessment Program
    Stephen Cattaneo, MD; Barry Meisenberg, MD; Cathy Brady-Copertino, BSN, MS, OCN; Maria Christina Geronimo, RN, MSN, MBA; and Teresa Putscher, RN, BSN, OCN
    In 2010 Stephen Cattaneo, MD, formed a thoracic oncology working group and implemented the Rapid Access Chest and Lung Assessment Program (RACLAP) at Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) in Annapolis.
  •  Development & Evolution of an Incidental Lung Lesion Program
    Esther Muscari Desimini, RN, MSN, BC, APRN; Patricia Aldredge, RN, MSN, ANP-BC; and Kimberly Gardner, RN, MSN, ACNP-BC
    Unexpected radiologic findings in the lungs (incidental lung lesions) on a diagnostic CT pose a risk of lack of follow-up and follow through for patients.
  •  Best of ASCO 2017
    Cary A. Presant, MD, FACP, FASCO
    ASCO 2017 was filled with new information and long lines as 39,000 oncologists worldwide came together to hear the latest advances in cancer care.
  •  Action: ACCC Launches Optimal Care Coordination Model for Lung Cancer Patients on Medicaid Project
    ACCC has launched a project to develop an Optimal Care Coordination Model for Lung Cancer Patients on Medicaid.
  •  Views: California's Smoking Signals
    Enza Esposito-Nguyen, RN, MSN, ANP-BC
    On June 9, 2016, California increased the legal smoking age from 18 to 21; restricting the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices in public places, and expanding the non-smoking areas at public schools.
  •  Engaging Patients & Assisting Primary Care Physicians in Lung Cancer Screening
    Jessica Peckham, MSN, RN, NP-C, PHN, OCN
    In 2014 PIH Health Hospital, Whittier, Calif., initiated a lung cancer screening program with the goal of early detection, improving the quality and timeliness of lung cancer care, and refining communication among the multidisciplinary treatment team.

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