National Cancer Prevention Month 2015The month of February is recognized as “National Cancer Prevention Month” in the United States. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, this month long campaign aims to increase public awareness on the prevention of cancer. This health event is a special platform to develop unique strategies that help in early detection, treatment and prevention of this deadly disease.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death for men and women in the United States. Reports from the American Cancer Society suggest that there will be as many as 1,658,370 new cancer cases in the United States in 2015.

As per the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) estimates, approximately one-third of cases or 374,000 cases of the most common cancers in the U.S could be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle giving equal importance to both physical fitness and a balanced diet.

There are different signs and symptoms associated with this disease and it may differ from one person to another. In some cases, the symptoms of this disease do not appear until it reaches its advanced stages. This in turn may cause considerable delay in diagnosis. Some of the potential risk factors include age, dietary habits, smoking, genetics and obesity.

Oncologists play an important role in educating people about the debilitating effects of this disease and the need for early treatment. For early detection of the disease, these specialists recommend regular and standard screening tests as these help them to better manage the symptoms of this disease.

Cancer physicians can advise patients by creating more awareness about the various treatment methods available for different types of cancers. The treatment options for this disease may vary, depending on the type and intensity of symptoms. Oncologists while administering various treatment methods should have adequate knowledge about the best practices for medical billing and coding and the latest coding updates. This will help them report accurate diagnostic and procedural codes on the medical claims and receive correct reimbursement.

For example, the following CPT codes are used for Intensity modulated radiation treatment delivery (IMRT) –

  • 77385: Intensity modulated radiation treatment delivery (IMRT), includes guidance and tracking, when performed; simple
  • 77386: Intensity modulated radiation treatment delivery (IMRT), includes guidance and tracking, when performed; complex

National Cancer Prevention Month is observed to alert Americans about the need to undergo preventive cancer screenings and learn the importance of early detection. It also aims at spreading awareness about the significance of a healthy lifestyle as many deaths related to this disease could be prevented by making healthy choices such as maintaining a healthy weight, quitting the smoking habit, eating a balanced diet, keeping active and getting the recommended screening tests.

Happy National Cancer Prevention Month!