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29

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Distress, Version 1.2017

4

Have you received help?

It’s a standard of care

Every distressed person with cancer

should receive help. Part 4 gives a history

of how distress management has become

a standard of cancer care. It also provides

a list of questions and websites for you to

use.

It’s a standard of care

Everyone with cancer has some distress at some

point in time. However, distressed people with cancer

have been underserved for decades. In 1997, NCCN

made a groundbreaking step by forming a panel to

develop treatment guidelines for distress. The first

guidelines for distress were completed in 1999. This

book is based on the most current version of the

guidelines.

The IOM (

I

nstitute

o

f

M

edicine) is a nonprofit group

that provides advice to the nation. Its aim is to help

people make good health decisions. IOM is greatly

respected among health care professionals.

In 2007, IOM released a report called

Cancer Care

for the Whole Patient

. In this report, a treatment

model for distress was proposed. The model is based

on the work of the NCCN panel. It includes routine

distress screening, treatment planning, referrals

to experts in distress, and re-evaluation. The IOM

report made distress management a new standard of

quality cancer care.

The Commission on Cancer is a program of the

American College of Surgeons. It grants accreditation

to cancer centers that apply and meet their standards

of quality cancer care. In 2015, new standards went

into effect for cancer centers. These new standards

included distress screening.

This history is important to know. You should expect

to receive distress screening and help at your cancer

care visits. If your distress isn’t addressed, ask for

help.

Hope is a huge part of the cancer

process because if you lose that, you

don’t have the inner strength you need

to fight.

–Kris

Survivor, Multiple Myeloma