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News Archive - Progress Newsletter Fall, 1999 Online

Prostate Cancer Patients Have New Ally

Prostate cancer patients and their families now have a valuable new resource to help them make timely and well-informed decisions about their course of care. The American Cancer Society has translated professional guidelines for prostate cancer - the most common cancer in American men - into reliable, specific and easy-to-understand information for the public.

The U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center - the only Michigan member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network - played an integral role in the development of the professional treatment guidelines for a range of cancers, including prostate.

"The network guidelines were developed through the consensus of prostate cancer experts at some of the nation's leading cancer centers and represent the state-of-the-art treatment that is actually practiced by these centers," says Howard M. Sandler, M.D., M.S., Cancer Center radiation oncologist. Dr. Sandler served on the NCCN's prostate cancer guidelines committee.

Among the topics covered are:

  • different types of treatments available;
  • information about clinical trials;
  • specific information explaining the different stages of prostate cancer;
  • various treatment paths and options for prostate cancer patients; and
  • a patient-friendly glossary.

Each of these topics is covered in-depth and incorporates the latest available information in cancer care. The guidelines answer frequently asked questions men have after their initial diagnosis, such as how a man's age and general health affect treatment choices, and explain the stages of the disease and different treatment side effects.

"Insurers and other health care providers use the professional guidelines to assess the appropriateness of current therapies and whether new treatments should be used," says Dr. Sandler, associate professor and associate chair for clinical research in the Department of Radiation Oncology. "Now men diagnosed with prostate cancer have access to the same top-quality information."

Patient-friendly guidelines are now available for both breast and prostate cancer. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the American Cancer Society also are planning to translate other clinical guidelines into patient versions.

The patient guidelines are available on the web at http://www.nccn.org/patient_guidelines/prostate.htm

Copies can also be obtained by calling the National Comprehensive Cancer Network at 1-888-909-NCCN or the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345.


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