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Physician Treatment Guidelines for Colon and Rectal Cancer Translated for Patients

PHILADELPHIA (April 17, 2000) -- Medical guidelines used by oncologists in the treatment of colon and rectal cancer now have been translated into easy-to-understand text. This will allow patients and their families better access to reliable and specific information to make timely and well-informed decisions about treatment. The guidelines are written by the nation's top cancer specialists and are updated annually.

The treatment guidelines are provided by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the American Cancer Society (ACS). Fox Chase Cancer Center is a founding member of the NCCN, a nationwide network of leading cancer centers. Physicians look to the NCCN for guidance on the highest quality and most effective advice on cancer treatment. The NCCN's mission is to make state-of-the-art cancer care available nationwide, through treatment guidelines for physicians and for patients.

"The doctors who treat colorectal cancers use these guidelines as the benchmark for treatment because they are based on the latest research," said Paul F. Engstrom, M.D., senior vice president for population science at Fox Chase Cancer Center. "The translated version of these guidelines makes it easier for patients to take a more active role when deciding their treatment options, and that is what both patients and doctors want. These new guidelines help to answer questions about the disease, the types of treatment available and information about clinical trials."

Each topic is covered in-depth and incorporates the latest available information in cancer care. Patients are also aided by numerous visual aides, including flow chart algorithms that represent appropriate treatment for different stages of colon and rectal cancer. The charts illustrate steps patients and the doctors can take in determining the most effective treatment for the patient.

After studying research results on colorectal cancer treatment, a panel of NCCN experts has agreed upon specific, up-to-date recommendations for treating people with this disease. These recommendations were formulated using scientific evidence and currently accepted approaches to treatment. Every year the panel will update their recommendations, if advances in medical science warrant.

To obtain copies of the patient version of the colon and rectal cancer guidelines, contact the National Comprehensive Cancer Network at 1-888-909-NCCN or American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345. You may also visit their web sites at or For bulk orders, please contact the American Cancer Society.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's first comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1974, conducts basic and clinical research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit the Center's web site at:

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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