Newswise — FORT WASHINGTON, PA [June 19, 2018] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has released a brand new resource to help people with liver, gallbladder, and bile duct cancers better understand the critical decisions they make about their care. This new edition of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients® takes the evidence-based, expert consensus treatment recommendations from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), and creates a patient-friendly version with easy-to-follow wording. Funding was provided by the NCCN Foundation®, with sponsorship from the Global Liver Institute, with content endorsed by the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (CCF).
"An essential element of patient empowerment is accessible, actionable, high-quality information,” said Donna R. Cryer, JD, President & CEO, Global Liver Institute. “The Global Liver Institute is proud to work with NCCN to provide this information to support liver and bile duct cancer patients and their families in the hope that together we can make the cancer journey easier and more successful."
More than 50,000 people in the United States are diagnosed every year with a cancer involving the liver, gallbladder, or bile ducts — collectively known as hepatobiliary cancers. Globally, both the number of incidents and the number of deaths from liver cancer are on the rise, despite declining numbers for both in cancer overall. This correlates with rising rates of hepatitis B and, more frequently, hepatitis C infections, which is often a precursor to liver cancer. Metabolic disorders (including obesity, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) are also associated with increased risk of liver cancer, and there is growing evidence for an association with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Additionally, people with liver cancer often also suffer from underlying cirrhosis, which can create limitations for their cancer treatment options. Common treatments include liver transplantation, surgery, radiation, ablation/embolization, or drug therapy.
“When people are diagnosed with liver cancer, they hope their doctor will be able to present them with a definitive best course of action, but there are often multiple treatments from which to choose. The best choice for any given individual has to take into account their disease status, symptoms, lab results, and, of course, personal preferences,” explained Al B. Benson, III, MD, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Dr. Benson chairs the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Hepatobiliary Cancers. “Patients and caregivers are often taken by surprise by the diagnosis. Those with Hepatitis C might not even know that they’d ever been exposed to it. Some go from being completely healthy to, suddenly, facing this life-changing event. People need a reliable source of information that’s readily available, free-of-charge, to help them weigh the pros and cons, and interpret the complex medical choices in front of them.”
Dr. Benson cautioned against relying on the internet in general for information about cancer treatments, since that information can be highly variable, and at times incorrect. He also stressed the important role for public health efforts in preventing liver cancer. He cited the Hepatitis B vaccine as one key cancer prevention tool, as well as more broad-based education around the long-term effects of heavy alcohol consumption.
The content in the NCCN patient guidelines is vetted by expert clinicians from the NCCN 27 Member Institutions. The booklets include patient-friendly elements, such as questions to ask the doctor, a glossary of terms, and medical illustrations. They are available free-of-charge at NCCN.org/patients or via an app for smartphones and tablets. Print copies of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients are available on Amazon.com for a nominal fee. The library currently contains guidelines for more than 40 different cancer types, including breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancers.
NCCN Guidelines for Patients and NCCN Quick Guide™ sheets DO NOT replace the expertise and clinical judgment of the clinician.
To help support these tools, visit NCCN.org/patients or text “GIVE” to 856-FOR-NCCN (856-367-6226).
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About the Global Liver Institute
The Global Liver Institute is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt not-for-profit organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States. Our Vision is for liver health to take its place on the global public health agenda commensurate with its prevalence and impact. Our Mission is to improve the effectiveness of the liver community by promoting innovation, collaboration, and scaling optimal approaches to eradicating liver disease. For more information see globalliver.org and connect with us on Twitter @GlobalLiver or Facebook facebook.com/GlobalLiver.
About NCCN Foundation
NCCN Foundation® was founded by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) to empower people with cancer and advance oncology innovation. NCCN Foundation supports people with cancer and their caregivers by delivering unbiased expert guidance from the world’s leading cancer experts through the library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients® and other patient education resources. NCCN Foundation is also committed to advancing cancer treatment by funding the nation’s promising young investigators at the forefront of cancer research, initiating momentum in their careers and improving patients’ lives through their groundbreaking research. For more information about NCCN Foundation, visit NCCN.org/patients.
About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers.
The NCCN Member Institutions are: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE; Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH; City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, and Rochester, MN; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH; Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN; and Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, CT.
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