The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®)—an alliance of leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education—has been named winner for the 2022 Excellence in Cancer Patient Education award from the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN). CPEN was originally founded with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to promote and provide models of excellence in patient, family, and community education across the continuum of care. The now- non-profit professional organization continues to do this by bringing together educators, researchers, program managers and others to make sure cancer patients and their families can achieve optimum health outcomes.
NCCN was nominated for the 2022 CPEN award by Gena Cook, Director of Blue Note Therapeutics and Chair of the NCCN Foundation® Board of Directors, specifically for their unique support of diversity, equity, and inclusion in breast cancer patient resources. NCCN’s free breast cancer resources for patients and caregivers include a series of NCCN Guidelines for Patients® books in multiple languages, plus animated videos and expert webinars. All are available for free at NCCN.org/breast-cancer-resources.
NCCN patient resources are based on the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), which are considered the gold standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer management and are the most thorough and frequently-updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. The evidence-based recommendations are kept up-to-date by multidisciplinary panels of experts that include patient advocates. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients contain the same unbiased expert guidance as the clinical versions, but are presented in an easy-to-read format—with clear language, charts, images, a glossary of medical terms, and suggested questions to ask during appointments—thanks to support from the NCCN Foundation.
“We are grateful to CPEN for this recognition of our work empowering patients and caregivers with the knowledge they need to advocate for their ideal cancer treatment decisions,” said Patrick K. Delaney, Executive Director, NCCN Foundation. “This honor reflects how important it is to make sure everyone can access accurate and current information in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.”
The library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients currently contains 65 different books, featuring tailored recommendations for more than 50 types of cancer—including breast, colon, lung, and prostate—plus supportive care topics like managing cancer-related distress, nausea and vomiting, and special considerations for adolescents and young adults across all cancer types. There are also patient guidelines devoted to detection, prevention, and risk reduction, including the latest recommendations for colorectal, lung, and breast cancer screening.
In her nomination for the CPEN award, Cook explained: “The guidelines for breast cancer screening and diagnosis and the guidelines for breast cancer treatment address differences in cultural and individual identity—especially in relation to sex assigned at birth and gender—and take differing levels of health literacy into account. Plain language, inclusive and bias-free language, and representative photos are utilized.”
“At NCCN, we are guided by our mission to improve and facilitate quality, effective, equitable, and accessible cancer care so all patients can live better lives,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “Patient-centered care is the best care. In order to achieve that, we must provide educational resources that meet patients where they are.”
The NCCN Guidelines for Patients were downloaded more than 2 million times in 2021. They are available for free digital download at NCCN.org/patientguidelines or via the NCCN Patient Guides for Cancer App. Printed editions are available for free while supplies last via NCCN’s online catalog, or for a nominal fee through Amazon.
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Dottie Shead, MS, Senior Director, Patient Information Operations, accepts 2022 Excellence in Cancer Patient Education award from CPEN on behalf of NCCN.