LIHU’E — Dr. Robert S. Weiner, of Kalaheo, recently received a three-year appointment as cancer liaison physician for the hospital cancer program at Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
The cancer liaison program is an integral part of the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, the commission said.
Weiner is among a national network of over 1,800 volunteer cancer liaison physicians who provide leadership and support to the approvals program, and other Commission on Cancer activities.
Weiner, who has a significant interest in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with malignant diseases, provides leadership to the cancer committee at his appointed institution in order to maintain their commission-approved cancer program, or assist them in seeking approval as a new program.
He also provides community leadership by volunteering at the division or unit level of the American Cancer Society, to develop cancer-control initiatives.
Established in 1922, the Commission on Cancer, which is composed of fellows of the college and liaison members representing more than 37 other cancer-related organizations, has approved more than 1,480 cancer programs in institutions across the country.
The commission’s approvals program sets standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to make sure they conform to those standards.
Approved programs are encouraged to equip and staff themselves so that they are able to provide their patients with the best in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Some 21 percent of hospitals in the United States have cancer programs approved by the Commission on Cancer, and 82 percent of the newly diagnosed cancer patients are treated in these institutions.
Cancer liaison physicians provide encouragement to their institution to participate in, and utilize data generated by, the data collection program of the commission, the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB).
The NCDB recently completed its ninth call for data from hospital cancer registries. The database contains patient demographic, tumor characteristic, treatment and outcomes information for over 7.7 malignant cancers diagnosed in the United States between 1985 and 1997.
For the diagnosis year 1997, more than 800,000 cases were reported to the NCDB by over 1,600 hospital cancer registries, accounting for approximately two-thirds of all newly diagnosed cancers in the United States that year.
The Cancer liaison physician cooperates regularly with this program in the presentation, dissemination, and interpretation of the resultant reports.
His participation in this program can impact cancer patient care at the state and local levels.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that 1,220,100 cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year. Cancer liaison physicians participate in the ACS National Cancer Information Center Project by coordinating the voluntary sharing of information on resources and cancer experience from their approved program.
These data are shared with the public through the ACS National Call Center and Web site.
For more information on the cancer liaison program and the Commission on Cancer, contact the commission at the American College of Surgeons, 633 N. Saint Clair St., Chicago, IL 60611, or call 1-312-202-5085.