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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). Non-small cell lung cancer account for about 84 percent of lungs; small cell lung cancer accounts for about 13 percent. In 2020, the American Cancer Society estimates that the U.S. will see about 228,820 new cases of lung cancer (116,300 in men and 112,520 in women), and about 135,720 deaths from the disease (75,500 in men and 63,220 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 GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer on a web section featuring resources on lung cancer screening programs.
Explore Lung Cancer Screening Resources

Featured Programs

Improving Care Delivery for Stages III and IV NSCLC

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is partnering with the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), and the LUNGevity Foundation on a national initiative to identify and provide guidance on key issues related to delivering optimal care for patients diagnosed with stages III or IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) across different practice settings.

As a first step in the Fostering Excellence in Care and Outcomes for Patients with Stage III and IV NSCLC initiative, ACCC conducted a survey to better understand the barriers and operational challenges in providing care for this patient population. Survey questions addressed diagnosis, treatment, care coordination, and communication within the interdisciplinary team caring for patients with locally advanced and late-stage NSCLC.

Informed by the survey results, the project’s Steering Committee guided the selection of six cancer programs to serve as process improvement sites. Facilitated by ACCC, these six cancer programs are developing and conducting process improvement models aimed at overcoming identified barriers to excellence in care for patients with these NSCLC stages. The models tested will be applicable across care settings. Results will be shared with the wider oncology community.
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Improving Care Coordination: A Model for Lung Cancer

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has developed a model (or framework) that cancer programs and practices can employ for quality improvement initiatives aimed at improving care coordination for patients with lung cancer, with particular focus on improving care for those covered by Medicaid. Through a collaborative approach, informed by a comprehensive cross section of stakeholders, including community organizations, patients, and primary and specialty providers, ACCC developed and tested a framework for optimal care coordination for lung cancer patients. Using a beta version of the model, seven ACCC Cancer Program members completed quality improvement projects. The work is supported by a three-year grant from the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation. 
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Eliminating Precision Medicine Disparities

Identification of actionable biomarkers continues to drive application of precision medicine in oncology. For patients with lung cancer, molecularly targeted therapies based on expression of specific biomarkers may be potential treatment options. Only through biomarker testing can clinicians discover whether lung cancers have targetable biomarkers. The ACCC Eliminating Precision Medicine Disparities project will focus on understanding specific barriers and challenges to equal access to precision medicine among underserved patient communities.
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resources-AAPI-WhitePaper-130x166 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.

ACCCBuzz Blog Posts

From Oncology Issues

  • Robotic Bronchoscopy
    Amy Hindman
    Early identification, staging, and diagnosis of lung cancer is critical to improving patient outcomes. However, current diagnostic options are limited in accuracy, safety, and invasiveness—only 15 percent of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed at an early stage. Read how Fox Chase Cancer Center has implemented new flexible robotic endoscopic technology to diagnose hard-to-reach lung nodules with greater precision than ever before.
  • A Small, Island Community Hospital Removes Barriers to Lung Cancer Screening and Detection
    By Donna Delfera, RN; Micayla Albers; Lysle Ailstock, MD; and Charles Shelton, MD
    Because of its growing retirement-age population and its unique location on a barrier island, The Outer Banks Hospital saw patients with lung cancer presenting at too late a stage for curative treatment. Learn how the hospital created an LDCT program and partnered with local providers and community cancer centers to identify patients with lung cancer at an earlier stage.
  •  Developing a Successful LDCT Program in a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center
    Kaleen Kassem, BS, and Christina Laird, MBA
    Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screenings are a critical tool in detecting early-stage malignancies in at-risk patient populations. Read how the Lefcourt Family Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center recruited physician champions, implemented infrastructure, and reached out to their community to address a high-risk catchment area.

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