College of American Pathologists
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  PAP/NGC Program Review





cap today

May 2003
Special Section

For cytology cases, no protocols requirement

Reporting the essential elements of the CAP’s cancer protocols will be required next year by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, but this does not pertain to cytologic material.

The ACS Commission on Cancer will require its accredited cancer programs to use the required elements of the CAP’s cancer protocol checklists in initial pathology reports of tumor malignancies beginning Jan. 1, 2004. The CoC approves more than 1,430 cancer programs at hospitals and freestanding cancer centers nationwide. The accreditation surveys are performed every three years, and compliance with reporting the essential elements of the cancer checklists will be mandatory. This does not apply to cytologic material, because in most cases this is either a screening or an initial diagnostic test. In an effort by the CAP to clarify the use of the essential elements, the revised checklists do not include a cytology section. Although the supporting materials for most checklists do have a section on cytology, it is not a requirement for CoC compliance because it is not applicable.