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New NCCN Guidelines for Patients® Available for Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer

NCCN announces the availability of NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults, a patient-friendly translation of the NCCN Guidelines® focused on people diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 15 and 39.

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. —The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), with support from the NCCN Foundation® and the LIVESTRONG Foundation and through collaboration with Critical Mass: The Young Adult Cancer Alliance (Critical Mass), announces the availability of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA).

According to the LIVESTRONG Foundation, more than 70,000 young adults, ages 15 through 39, are diagnosed with cancer each year, and the survival rates for young adults have not increased since 1975, unlike the dramatic improvement seen in children and older adults. Patients within this age group, often falling between general demographics for pediatric and adult oncology, face a unique set of challenges, such as reentry into school or the workforce, insurance coverage issues, infertility resulting from treatment, neurocognitive effects, and secondary malignancies.

The NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Caring for AYA is supported by the NCCN Foundation®, which, through private philanthropy and grants, advances the quality and effectiveness of care for patients with cancer. Publication of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Caring for AYA is also made possible through support from the LIVESTRONG Foundation, which serves people affected by cancer and empowers them to take action against the world`s leading cause of death.

The unique psychosocial and economic issues of adolescent and young adult patients with cancer have major influences on morbidity and mortality, said Peter F. Coccia, MD, Ittner Professor and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Coccia is a member of the NCCN Board of Directors and Chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Young Adult Oncology. Experts in AYA oncology from all 21 NCCN Member Institutions developed both the NCCN Guidelines for AYA Oncology for medical professionals and the NCCN AYA Guidelines for Patients. It is their hope and expectation that both sets of guidelines will contribute to optimizing care and improving outcomes in AYA patients with cancer.

The biology of cancer in adolescents and young adults differs from that in both younger and older cancer patients, said Brandon Hayes-Lattin, MD, Senior Medical Advisor, LIVESTRONG Foundation. Dr. Hayes-Lattin is an Associate Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Medical Director, AYA Oncology Program at OHSU`s Knight Cancer Institute, and a young adult cancer survivor. This group also faces unique challenges around important issues such as peer support, diagnosis, treatment, and fertility. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults provides invaluable information that can help these patients and their loved ones make sense of the diagnosis and work with their health care team to make the best cancer care decisions possible.

NCCN aims to provide people with cancer and the general public with state-of-the-art cancer treatment information in easy-to-understand language. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients®, translations of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), are meant to help people with cancer talk with their physicians about the best treatment options for their disease. These NCCN Guidelines for Patients® do not replace the expertise and clinical judgment of the physician.

We are pleased to announce the public availability of the adolescent and young adult oncology guidelines for patients, said Patricia J. Goldsmith, NCCN`s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. The objective of NCCN Guidelines for Patients is to empower people with cancer to take a more active role in their treatment. In making such resources available to adolescents, young adults, and their caregivers, NCCN strives to allow these young people to focus on recovery by offering a source of confidence in understanding diagnoses, treatment options, and their subsequent effects. NCCN is appreciative of the support and collaboration from the LIVESTRONG Foundation and Critical Mass, which made this important guideline possible.

NCCN offers 11 other NCCN Guidelines for Patients®, including Breast, Colon, Non-Small Cell Lung, Ovarian, Pancreatic, and Prostate Cancers, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Melanoma, Multiple Myeloma, and Lung Cancer Screening. Additional NCCN Guidelines for Patients® will be available throughout 2013.

Printed copies of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Caring for AYA are available. To request a printed copy of these guidelines, please send an e-mail to patientguidelines@nccn.org.

About the LIVESTRONG Foundation

The LIVESTRONG Foundation provides free cancer support services to help people cope with the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany the disease. Created in 1997 by cancer survivor and philanthropist Lance Armstrong, the Foundation is known for its powerful brand – LIVESTRONG – and for its advocacy on behalf of survivors and their families. With its iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristband, the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised nearly $500 million to support cancer survivors and served 2.5 million people affected by the disease. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.