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In the News - Colon and Rectal Treatment Guidelines for Patients

Valuable Resource Now Available from NCCN and ACS

originally posted as part of U-M CCC in the News on April 17, 2000

Philadelphia and Atlanta ¬- Patients with colon and rectal cancer now have an invaluable resource in the fight against the disease, thanks to a collaborative effort between the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the American Cancer Society (ACS).

With the American Cancer Society¬'s translation of the NCCN guidelines, which were originally designed for oncology professionals, colon and rectal cancer patients and their families now have the reliable, specific, and easy-to-understand information they need to make timely and well-informed decisions about this critical health issue.

According to the American Cancer Society, this year an estimated 130,200 Americans will learn that they have colorectal cancer. This form of cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women. The ACS also says that in 2000, an estimated 56,300 deaths in the U.S. will be from colorectal cancer.

Rather than having to consult numerous different sources, colon and rectal cancer patients will now have easy access to a wealth of information in a convenient, clearly written format. Among the topics covered are: known risk factors, prevention and early detection of colon and rectal cancer, stages of the disease, medical decisions and treatment options, side effects of treatment, important questions for patients to discuss with their doctors, general information about clinical trials, and a glossary of terms commonly used in colon and rectal cancer treatment.

Each of these topics are covered in-depth and incorporate the latest available information in cancer care. Patients are also aided by numerous visual aides, including flow chart algorithms that represent appropriate treatment for different stages of colon and rectal cancer. The charts illustrate in a clear manner steps patients and the doctors can take in determining the most effective treatment for the patient.

¬"The partnership between the NCCN and the ACS provides access to patient versions of the same guidelines oncologists use to aid their decisions about appropriate treatment,¬" says William T. McGivney, CEO of the NCCN. ¬"Our goal is to inform and facilitate this critical decision-making process between patient and physician.

American Cancer Society president Gerald L. Woolam, M.D., said "The patient guidelines collaboration with NCCN has developed some of the best patient materials available today. When you can give a patient an easy to understand, state of the science tool to help them deal with their cancer, you've done a very important thing."

The NCCN and ACS previously released Breast Cancer Treatment Guidelines for Patients and Prostate Cancer Treatment Guidelines for Patient; Colon and Rectal Treatment Guidelines for Patients is third in this series. In addition, the NCCN and ACS are planning to translate other NCCN clinical guidelines for lung cancer, non-melanoma skin cancer, bladder cancer, and ovarian cancer, as well as supportive care guidelines, into patient versions. The patient guidelines will be updated regularly to remain current with the clinical recommendations of the NCCN; both Breast Cancer Treatment Guidelines for Patients and Prostate Cancer Treatment Guidelines for Patients will be updated later this year. In addition, the Guidelines will be translated into Spanish. A Spanish version of Prostate Cancer Treatment Guidelines for Patients is already available.

Founded in 1995, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, was created with one goal in mind: to more effectively fight cancer. A total of 17 prestigious institutions, representing the finest in cancer care across the United States, are part of the Network. The NCCN member institutions are: The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital & Research Institute at Ohio State University, Columbus; City of Hope National Medical Center, Los Angeles; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle; H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Baltimore; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago; Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham; UCSF Stanford Health Care, San Francisco and Stanford; University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor; UNMC/Eppley Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.; and University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy and service.

To obtain copies of the patient version of the colon and rectal cancer guidelines, contact the National Comprehensive Cancer Network at 1-888-909-NCCN or American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345. You may also visit their web sites at www.nccn.org or www.cancer.org. For bulk orders, please contact the American Cancer Society. In addition, the American Cancer Society has Spanish-speaking Cancer Information Specialists available to assist callers around the clock, and can also provide general cancer information in Spanish.

 

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