NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Esophageal Cancer - page 3

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Esophageal Cancer
Version 1.2013
Inspired to Pay It Forward
At age 58, in the midst of my role as Under Secretary of
State for Arms Control and International Security, I was
diagnosed with stage III esophageal cancer. In 1973 my
dear grandmother, Marie O’Kane, my father’s mother,
was diagnosed with stage III esophageal cancer and the
memories of her experience came flooding back. In my
vulnerable state I wanted answers to take back control
and to empower myself to fight back. I wanted credible
information to assist with my decision making, leading
to making the best choice regarding my care and the
best possible outcome. I love surfing the internet, but it
is completely unfiltered and not a place to get introduced
to your cancer. I found a tremendous need for a credible
source of information for patients with esophageal cancer
that helps to guide us through diagnosis, treatment
and beyond.
I want to use my experience as a cancer survivor to work
to achieve better patient outcomes and to advocate for more
comprehensive patient information and access to the best
cancer treatments. Thanks to the NCCN Clinical Practice
Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines
), treatment
guidelines covering 97% of cancers have been developed
and are widely recognized as the standard for cancer
care. With such a powerful resource in place, it is critically
important to get clinicians, patients and their caregivers
on the same page regarding their options for care. This is
why the NCCN Foundation is working tirelessly to develop
an entire library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients
. I made
a personal commitment to make available the NCCN
Guidelines for Patients
: Esophageal Cancer and get it
into the hands of the many people affected each year by
this diagnosis. This is my way to ‘pay it
forward’, so to speak, and help all cancer
patients become cancer survivors.
My survival and high quality of life
can be directly traced to my oncology
team, Tommy D’Amico, MD, and Scott
Balderson, PA-C. Their care, work
with NCCN, and dedication to these
guidelines are exceptional. I have also
been enormously blessed in my life. I have a loving
family and friends and work that has given me tremendous
freedom and satisfaction. As a cancer survivor, I belong
to an exclusive club whose membership I want to expand.
I am here today because of the efforts of many dedicated
physicians, nurses, technicians and the love and support
of my family, friends and colleagues - AND the thousands
of volunteer hours from some of the most distinguished
and state-of-the-art clinicians who produce the NCCN
and the NCCN Guidelines for Patients
On behalf of my grandmother and myself, I hope you
find this booklet helpful in dealing with a diagnosis of
esophageal cancer. If so, you can always ‘pay it forward’
and make a donation to the NCCN Foundation at
to help provide these
resources to others. I survived and so can you!
The Honorable Ellen O. Tauscher
NCCN Foundation Board of Directors, Chair
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control &
International Security and Member of Congress
Ellen O. Tauscher
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