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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Esophageal Cancer, Version 1.2016

At age 58, in the midst of my role as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control

and International Security, I was diagnosed with stage III esophageal cancer. In

1973 my dear grandmother, Marie O’Kane, my father’s mother, was diagnosed

with stage III esophageal cancer, and the memories of her experience came

flooding back. In my vulnerable state I wanted answers to take back control and

to empower myself to fight back. I wanted credible information to assist with my

decision making, leading to making the best choice regarding my care and the

best possible outcome. I love surfing the internet, but it is completely unfiltered

and not a place to get introduced to your cancer. I found a tremendous need for

a credible source of information for patients with esophageal cancer that helps

to guide us through diagnosis, treatment and beyond.

I want to use my experience as a cancer survivor to work to achieve better

patient outcomes and to advocate for more comprehensive patient information

and access to the best cancer treatments. Thanks to the NCCN Clinical

Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines


), treatment guidelines

covering 97% of cancers have been developed and are widely recognized

as the standard for cancer care. With such a powerful resource in place, it is

critically important to get clinicians, patients and their caregivers on the same

page regarding their options for care. This is why the NCCN Foundation is

working tirelessly to develop an entire library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Inspired to Pay it Forward

Ellen O. Tauscher