NCCN releases new guidelines for uterine cancers
Newswise Sep 13, 2018
The NCCN Guidelines® are based on the latest evidence and consensus from a multidisciplinary team that includes surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and other experts from across the leading academic cancer centers that comprise NCCN.
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 6 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 multidisciplinary 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 are also available in printed format 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 10 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.”
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