The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a not-for-profit alliance of 21 of the world’s leading cancer centers, has recently launched a patient-focused site which presents summaries of how cancer is treated at leading cancer centers throughout the United States. The patient treatment summaries currently cover about 70 percent of all cancers in adults — including breast, colon, lung, Non-Hodgkins, ovarian, rectal and prostate — and the site plans to add new ones throughout 2009 and 2010.
You can search these summaries by keyword or by cancer type (category). Each summary follows a similar template, including information such as background, diagnosis, tumor stage, treatment and prognosis. Each also includes a checklist of things to remember, such as considering second opinions, and asking your doctor if you will be able to work during treatment. In addition, you will find quick links to related content on the site, such as overviews on cancer staging and clinical trials, and links to noteworthy external resources and organizations. Terms that may be unfamiliar are in blue italics; you can read their definitions by clicking on them.
The treatment summaries are based on the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™.These guidelines are intended for professionals, although anyone, after submitting an “end user agreement” can download and print them. You will need the Adobe Reader software to do so. The guidelines are versioned and indicate when they were last updated.