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New Guidelines Help Cancer Patients with Nausea and Vomiting; Some Side-Effects Can Be Controlled or Prevented

PHILADELPHIA (June 18, 2001) -- According to cancer experts, about 75% of people treated for cancer experience nausea and vomiting. These side effects of cancer treatment can drastically affect a person's quality of life. Nausea and vomiting can lead to dehydration, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, slow wound healing, loss of appetite, as well as distress and disruption in daily activities which may cause patients to consider stopping further cancer treatment. Yet, with newer and more effective treatments to control and even prevent nausea and vomiting, these experts say people do not have to suffer.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), of which Fox Chase Cancer Center is a founding member, and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have made available patient guidelines, Nausea and Vomiting Treatment Guidelines for Patients with Cancer, designed to help patients make more informed decisions about their treatment.

"When people begin treatment for cancer, they are concerned about what side effects they may have. As nausea and vomiting are such common side effects in cancer treatment, we felt it was important to let patients know that these can be relieved. The guidelines, written in plain, understandable language, help patients and their families discuss these side effects with their physicians and make informed decisions about their treatment," said Robert C. Young, MD, president of Fox Chase Cancer Center and president-elect of the American Cancer Society.

The patient guidelines are the result of a collaborative effort between NCCN and ACS and are derived directly from the professional oncology practice guidelines developed for physicians by the NCCN. The patient guidelines also provide background information on different types of nausea and vomiting, their causes, various treatment options and a glossary of terms.

Young added, "This new resource is important because it opens the lines of communication between patients and physicians to help patients find the best possible relief. Every person being treated for cancer does not get every side effect, but those who do, can and should receive effective treatment to help improve their quality of life."

The NCCN/ACS Nausea and Vomiting Treatment Guidelines for Patients with Cancer is one of a series developed by the NCCN/ACS partnership. At this time, the NCCN/ACS patient guideline series includes breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectal cancers, and cancer pain. Upcoming patient guidelines include lung cancer, ovarian cancer, myeloma, non-melanoma skin cancer and cancer-related fatigue. The publications are also being translated into Spanish.

To order a free copy of NCCN/ACS Nausea and Vomiting Treatment Guidelines for Patients with Cancer or any of the other NCCN patient guidelines, visit the National Comprehensive Cancer Network website at or the American Cancer Society website at Copies may also be ordered by calling the NCCN (1-888-909-NCCN) or the ACS (1-800-ACS-2345).

Founded in 1995, the NCCN is an alliance of 19 of the world's leading cancer centers and is dedicated to advancing the missions of its member institutions in education, research and patient care. As part of its mission, the NCCN serves as the most authoritative source of cancer care information for health professionals based upon the expertise and input of its world-renowned clinicians.

For more than 85 years, the public has relied on the American Cancer Society for accurate, up-to-date information about cancer and its treatment. The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy and service.

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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