Excellence in Patient Education
2022 Recipient: National Comprehensive Care Network Patient Information Operations
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, equitable, and accessible cancer care so all patients can live better lives. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) provide transparent, evidence-based, expert consensus recommendations for cancer treatment, prevention, and supportive services. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients® provide expert cancer treatment information to inform and empower patients and caregivers, through support from the NCCN Foundation®.
NCCN Guidelines® are considered the gold standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer management and are the most thorough and frequently-updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. The evidence-based recommendations are formulated by more than 1,700 top experts from across the 32 leading cancer centers that are part of NCCN, alongside input from patient advocates.
NCCN Guidelines for Patients are directly based on the clinical practice guidelines that inform health care providers all over the world on the best way to manage cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship. The patient guidelines contain the same unbiased expert guidance as the clinical versions, but are presented in an easy-to-read format—with clear language, charts, images, a glossary of medical terms, and suggested questions to ask during appointments. An independent, peer-reviewed study published in Current Urology on prostate cancer found the NCCN Guidelines for Patients to be among the most trustworthy resources for people seeking information online about their cancer. In 2021, the NCCN Guidelines for Patients were downloaded more than 2.1 million times worldwide.
The library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients currently contains 65 different books, featuring tailored recommendations for more than 50 types of cancer—including breast, colon, lung, and prostate. There are also books on supportive care topics like managing cancer-related distress, nausea and vomiting, side-effects from immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, and special considerations for adolescents and young adults across all cancer types. NCCN also provides patient guidelines devoted to detection, prevention, and risk reduction, including colorectal, lung, and breast cancer screening.
The patient guidelines for breast cancer screening and diagnosis and the guidelines for breast cancer treatment address differences in cultural and individual identity—especially in relation to sex assigned at birth and gender—and take differing levels of health literacy into account. Plain language, inclusive and bias-free language, and representative photos are utilized. Gender-exclusive pronouns are omitted. NCCN Guidelines for Patients have been translated into more than 20 additional languages, including Spanish and Ukrainian, to empower patients and caregivers around the world.
The NCCN Animations and Webinars for Patients complement the NCCN Guidelines for Patients. NCCN has provided more than a dozen free webinars to help inform patients and caregivers since 2020. A collection of brief animated videos tackles topics such as “How to Talk to Your Doctor About Metastatic Breast Cancer.”
The NCCN Guidelines for Patients are available for free digital download at NCCN.org/patientguidelines or via the NCCN Patient Guides for Cancer App. Printed versions are available for free while supplies last via NCCN’s online catalog, or for a nominal fee through Amazon.
2021: Patient Education Practice Guidelines: Sarah Christensen, MA; MD Anderson Cancer Center and Carolyn Cutillli, PhD, RN, NPD-BC; Penn Medicine, American International College, Co-chairs
2020: Marrow Masters Podcast Series: National Bone Marrow Transplant Link
2019: Together, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
2018: OncoLink, University of Pennsylvania
2017: Frankly Speaking About Cancer Clinical Trials, Cancer Support Community
2016: Mariela Gallo, MPH, CHES
2015: Family Cancer Retreat - Cancer Services of New Mexico
2014: Tina Papadakos, MA Ed and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Clinical Trials Database Health Literacy Team
2013: Hastings Breast Cancer Support Group
2012: Be the Match: Super Sam vs. the Marrow Monsters
2011: Matthew Ballo, MD for the Road to Wellness
2010: Maximizing Your Patient Education Skills (MPES)
2009: Caregivers’ Guide to Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant, Myra Jacobs
2008: The Learning Center at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
2007: Diane Moyer, RN, MS, Ohio State University Medical Center, The Partnership for Health Care Education For Limited English Proficiency Patients
2007: Jean Hartford-Todd, CCLS, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center
2003: Oncology Interactive Educational Series, Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network
2001: Leah Mraz, BSN, RN, OCN, My Story: A Diary for People With Cancer, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
2000: Marilyn McCubbin, PhD, RN, FAAn, Kelly Cotter, BA, Michael Dystra, BS Outlook: Life Beyond Childhood Cancer, University of Wisconsin Cancer Center
2000: M.D. Anderson Patient Education Office, University of Texas
2000: Carolyn Weaver, RN, MSN, AOCN, Ask the Expert Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center
2000: Tanya Smith, BA & Patient and Public Education Departmental Staff, How to Help Your Loved One Stop Smoking, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah
1999: Amy Deshler, MSW, Kelli Fee-Schroeder, RN, and Kat Thieman, MBA, Setting Course to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
1999: Dr. Joel Goldwein and Dr. Ivor Benjamin, OncoLink, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center
1999: Mary Sumpmann, Nancy Goldstein and Staff, Patient Learning Center, University of Minnesota Cancer Center