What is cancer? Cancer is a group of diseases in which certain cells in the body become abnormal and multiply without control or order. Sometimes these cells grow out of control in the blood and can develop into blood cancers (such as leukemia), and other times these rapidly multiplying and dividing cells may become a lump or mass of extra tissue that is known as a “tumor.” Tumors can either be benign or malignant. Benign tumors aren’t cancerous, can often be removed, and don’t spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors are cancerous. They invade and destroy healthy body tissues and may spread to other parts of the body. When cells spread from one region of the body into another, it is called metastasis.
The Baystate Regional Cancer Program’s (BRCP) D’Amour Center for Cancer Care (DCCC) opened in January 2004. The mission of the BRCP is to revolutionize the delivery of cancer care to the people of western New England. Patients at the DCCC experience a level of care that is unmatched in the region and leverages the BRCP’s unique capabilities to coordinate all aspects of cancer care. While the BRCP includes a wide array of services provided by many health care team members who are all specialists in their fields, the care patients receive is specifically tailored to meet their individual needs.
The effectiveness of treatment is continually monitored to make sure our patients are benefiting from the most effective approach. Each step along the way patients are kept informed about their treatment, the reasons for using the chosen methods and their prognosis.
- The BRCP participates in the national Quality Oncology Program Initiative (QOPI®) through the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). QOPI® includes a consensus set of quality measures which are derived from clinical guidelines or published standards adapted from the National Initiative on Cancer Care Quality (NICCQ), ASCO/NCCN Quality Measures, and ASTRO/ASCO/AMA PCPI Oncology Measures.
- The goal of the QOPI® is to promote excellence in cancer care by helping oncologists create a culture of self-examination and improvement. Practicing oncologists and quality experts developed the QOPI® quality measures; they are consensus-based and clinically relevant.
- The BRCP submission reflected excellent results. Due to BRCP's consistent high overall quality, adjuvant treatment scores, and outstanding clinical on-site review by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) Team, the Baystate Regional Cancer Program received Full QOPI Certification for three years. As a result of receiving this award and the quality results of the clinical on-site review, our site has been asked to be a "site of excellence" for other participating QOPI sites, as well as to provide guidance for greater quality results.
- National attention is being paid to chemotherapy administered to patients who are rapidly approaching the end of their clinical course. This has implications for the late referral to critical hospice services. The Baystate Regional Cancer Program prides itself on its emphasis on palliative care and end-of-life care, and the low rate of chemotherapy administration prior to patient death is a key indicator of the success of our efforts at early hospice referral and reduction in cancer treatment side-effects. We are proud to have exceedingly low rates of chemotherapy administration at the end of life, and much lower than national norms. This contributes to the program’s overall QOPI compliance and provides a higher quality patient experience.
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For more information on the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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