Advancing Cancer Equity

NCCN is a not-for-profit alliance of leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, equitable, and accessible cancer care so all patients can live better lives.

NCCN continues to pursue urgent work to address cancer disparities through many programs and initiatives.

Health Equity Report Card (HERC)

The Health Equity Report Card contains 19 practice recommendations across 4 domains. The HERC is intended to be a tool for payers, accreditation entities, and healthcare organizations seeking to measure and incentivize more equitable care practices while also offering transparency for patients.

Health Equity Report Card (HERC)
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Health Equity Report Card (HERC) Infographic
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The Alliance for Cancer Care Equity (ACCE) 

In 2022, NCCN, in partnership with American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), launched the Alliance for Cancer Care Equity (ACCE), which aims to promote meaningful systems change through advocacy and education informed by the framework developed by the Elevating Cancer Equity (ECE) Working Group. The ACCE is structured to serve as a convening and unifying space for organizations committed to addressing structural disparities resulting in inequitable cancer outcomes across race and ethnicity. The Alliance focus is advancing access to equitable care, and the three high-impact focus areas identified for the ACCE are:

  • Diversity in Clinical Trials,
  • Screening and Early Detection; and 
  • Patient Navigation.
Elevating Cancer Equity Working Group Policy Change Recommendation
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World Cancer Day – Every February 4
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House Resolution 992
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NCCN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Directors Forum

The Forum is working together to improve the diversity of all staff and faculty (healthcare professionals, researchers, supportive and administrative staff, etc.) across the nation’s leading academic cancer centers. It provides a venue to share challenges and best practices in advancing DEI initiatives in a timely fashion. 

DEI Directors Forum Members

NCCN's Guidance on Inclusive Language

Inclusive language refers to the use of words, phrases, and expressions that avoid stereotypes, biases, or assumptions, and that are sensitive to diverse identities, backgrounds, and experiences. It aims to create an inclusive and respectful environment by acknowledging and affirming the dignity and worth of all individuals, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other characteristic. Inclusive language promotes equality, diversity, and inclusivity by fostering understanding, empathy, and a sense of belonging for everyone. NCCN has adopted inclusive language throughout our clinical and patient guidelines.

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Advancing Health Equity for LGBTQ+ Identifying Patients with Cancer

This infographic was created to raise awareness and promote understanding about the unique healthcare needs of this population. It aims to provide concise and visually appealing information on strategies and resources that can help healthcare providers and institutions ensure equitable and inclusive care for LGBT patients. The infographic seeks to empower healthcare professionals in delivering culturally competent and affirming care to improve health outcomes for LGBT individuals.

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Continuing Education

NCCN regularly offers CE programs focused on increasing awareness, knowledge, and competence in the need for culturally sensitive, evidence-based, guideline recommended approaches for the treatment of all people with cancer.

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NCCN Policy Priority on Equity

NCCN’s policy and advocacy department has made a resolute commitment to advancing cancer equity, actively collaborating with external stakeholders to identify and address systemic barriers, and promoting equitable access to quality cancer prevention, treatment, and supportive services. NCCN’s Oncology Policy Summits provide an opportunity for a varied group of stakeholders to thoughtfully discuss diverse perspectives on health policy issues.

Policy Priority on Equity    Oncology Policy Summits

NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP)

ORP works to provide funding and oversight for new research and quality improvement projects that address disparities and share successful approaches for overcoming them. ORP is currently overseeing many research programs addressing equitable access to quality care, including biomarker testing, multidisciplinary care, and guideline-concordant care.

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Expanding Access to NCCN Guidelines and Clinical Resources

NCCN works to develop regional Harmonizations and Adaptations of the NCCN Guidelines that are customized for unique regional needs and resource levels in collaboration with in-country thought leaders.  NCCN also has over 250 resources translated into various languages to meet the needs of both oncology care providers and patients looking for reliable information on cancer care.

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Expanding Access to NCCN Patient Resources

NCCN provides free resources and translations for patients and caregivers to start a conversation with their doctors about how to get the best care for their unique set of circumstances.

View NCCN Patient Resources

Peer-Reviewed Research

JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network provides opportunities for investigators to publish original research in fields such as cancer disparities, health outcomes, quality improvement, and clinical research.

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Submit a Manuscript or Correspondence