News Release

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Contact: George Stinnett, CHKD, (757) 668-7043

CHKD Childhood Cancer Program Re-approved by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons recently granted re-approval to the childhood cancer program at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. CHKD’s program was first approved in 1988. CHKD offers the only dedicated pediatric oncology program in the region and follows about 500 childhood cancer patients from across southeastern Virginia, the Eastern Shore of Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Each year about 50 local children are newly diagnosed with some form of the disease. In the United States, approximately 8,700 children are diagnosed annually with cancer. It is the leading cause of death from disease in children between the ages of 1 and 15 years, and an estimated 1,700 children across the country die each year as a result. Although the cause for most childhood cancers is not known, many occur very early in life, and the immaturity of children’s organ systems often has important treatment implications. So it is important to have a dedicated program, facilities and a team of specialists who know the differences between adult and childhood cancers, as well as the unique needs of children with a life-threatening disease. The childhood cancer treatment team at CHKD includes pediatric oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, pediatric oncology nurses, specially trained licensed clinical social workers, child life specialists, nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists and educators who can support and inform the entire family. CHKD Cancer Program CHKD also offers children with cancer the opportunity to participate in the most current and advanced clinical research trials through the Children’s Oncology Group, a National Cancer Institute-supported cooperative research organization. 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. Receiving care at a Commission on Cancer approved cancer program ensures that patients have access to:
  • Quality care close to home.
  • Comprehensive care offering a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment.
  • A multispecialty, 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 a rigorous evaluation process and a review of its performance. In order to maintain approval, facilities with approved cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years. The Commission on Cancer is composed of 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. CHKD Childhood Cancer Program 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.