Rachel Darwin, Senior Manager, Public Relations
NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Uterine Cancer — published during Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month — explains treatment options and raises awareness
FORT WASHINGTON, PA [September 11, 2018] — While the number of deaths from most cancers is on the decline in the United States, it is rising for the most common type of uterine cancer—endometrial cancer. The newest NCCN Guidelines for Patients® focuses on uterine cancers (endometrial cancer and a much rarer type called uterine sarcoma). Uterine cancers are by far the most prevalent type of gynecologic cancer, impacting more than 63,000 new women every year, nearly twice the number of ovarian and cervical cancer diagnoses combined. With more than 11,000 lives estimated to be lost in 2018, uterine cancers are one of the highest causes of cancer deaths for women. Despite these statistics, awareness and resources around this cancer site are in short supply. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) created this new book of guidelines for patients, funded through the NCCN Foundation, to help increase public knowledge of uterine cancers.
“The NCCN Guidelines for Patients answer a real need for people with cancer and their loved ones, who want a better understanding of the medical decisions facing them," said Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “These guidelines go beyond a basic overview, to truly explain, in plain language, what experts agree are the best, most up-to-date treatment approaches.”
Endometrial cancer survivor Colleen Johnson, PhD, understands that need first-hand. When she was diagnosed six years ago, the only information she could find came from a medical textbook.
“I wanted to leave my doctor’s office with something in writing that explained what I was about to go through, to help me start reconciling what was going to happen,” Johnson explained. “Instead, I spent hours searching the internet, living in intense fear that I would miss the one thing that would make the difference between life and death. I turned to a medical textbook, which just raised my anxiety levels even further. Thanks to these new guidelines from NCCN, women who are diagnosed with endometrial cancer or uterine sarcoma will finally have a good, solid source of accessible information about their cancer.”
The NCCN Guidelines for Patients feature translated content from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), in an easy-to-understand format that includes a glossary of terms and medical illustrations. The NCCN Guidelines® are based on the latest evidence and consensus from a multi-disciplinary team that includes surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and other experts from across the leading academic cancer centers that comprise NCCN. Both the clinical guidelines and their patient-focused counterparts are available free-of-charge for non-commercial use at NCCN.org or by app. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients will also available in printed format soon through Amazon for a nominal fee.
“It’s very useful for patients to be aware of what to expect from their treatment, based on state-of-the-art consensus,” said Nadeem Abu-Rustum, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Vice-Chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Cervical, Uterine, and Vulvar Cancers. “I want people to know, if they’re diagnosed with endometrial cancer, they should see a gynecologic oncologist, and not just rely on treatment from a general physician.”
Dr. Abu-Rustum also conveyed that endometrial cancer can often be caught early. Women who experience abnormal staining or blood after reaching the age of menopause should talk to their doctor. When caught in the early stages, endometrial cancer is very treatable through minimally-invasive surgery.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in the last ten years, using technology to make surgery more precise,” explained Dr. Abu-Rustum. “We’ve also expanded our understanding of the underlying biology for endometrial tumors. We’re moving toward more incorporation of the molecular profile for increasingly accurate diagnosis and more targeted treatments.”
The NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Uterine Cancer is endorsed by Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE). NCCN Guidelines for Patients and NCCN Quick Guide™ sheets DO NOT replace the expertise and clinical judgment of the clinician.
The NCCN library of patient guidelines currently includes more than 40 different cancer types, including breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancers. The creation of these guidelines for uterine cancers was partially inspired by Johnson’s role as an advocate and ultra-marathoner. Read more about her survival story at NCCN.org/colleen. To help support the creation of additional resources for patients and caregivers, visit NCCN.org/patients or text “GIVE” to 856-FOR-NCCN (856-367-6226).
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About NCCN Foundation
NCCN Foundation® was founded by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) to empower people with cancer and advance oncology innovation. NCCN Foundation supports people with cancer and their caregivers by delivering unbiased expert guidance from the world’s leading cancer experts through the library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients® and other patient education resources. NCCN Foundation is also committed to advancing cancer treatment by funding the nation’s promising young investigators at the forefront of cancer research, initiating momentum in their careers and improving patients’ lives through their groundbreaking research. For more information about NCCN Foundation, visit NCCN.org/patients.
About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers.
The NCCN Member Institutions are: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE; Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH; City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, and Rochester, MN; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH; Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN; and Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, CT.