New NCCN Patient Resources for Rectal Cancer Now Available

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

Together with the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Colon Cancer, these free resources aid in decision-making for patients with colon and rectal cancers.

It is estimated that more than 39,900 new cases of Rectal Cancer and more than 95,000 new cases of Colon Cancer will be diagnosed this year in the United States. In fact, Colorectal Cancer—Colon and Rectal Cancers together—is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women.1 While Colon and Rectal Cancers share like disease symptoms and characteristics, it is imperative that patients with Rectal Cancer have access to treatment information tailored specifically to their diagnosis.

To empower patients with Rectal Cancer to make informed choices about their cancer care, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), through funding from NCCN Foundation®, have published the new NCCN Guidelines for Patients® and NCCN Quick Guide™ sheet for Rectal Cancer. These resources, as well as the NCCN patient resources for Colon Cancer published earlier this year, arm patients with the same evidence-based treatment information that their doctors use to aid in the shared-decision-making process with their care teams.

To ensure the resources get into patients’ hands, Fight Colorectal Cancer has sponsored both the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Colon and Rectal and directs patients to them through their medically-reviewed patient education materials on their website, such as Your Guide in the Fight and other blogs and web pages.

“NCCN Foundation is incredibly grateful to Fight Colorectal Cancer for their generous support of both the NCCN Guidelines for Patients for Colon and Rectal Cancers,” said Marcie R. Reeder, MPH, Executive Director, NCCN Foundation. “With more than 100,000 new cases of Colorectal Cancer diagnosed in the United States each year, we are pleased to now be able to empower the total patient population with the most up-to-date clinical options available to them at every stage of their cancer journey.”

NCCN Guidelines for Patients are easy-to-understand adaptations based on the same clinical practice guidelines used by health care professionals around the world to determine the best way to treat a person with cancer. Each resource features unbiased expert guidance from the nation’s leading cancer centers designed to help people living with cancer understand and discuss their treatment options with their providers.

“We are proud to support the evidence-based NCCN Guidelines for Patients for both Colon and Rectal cancers this year,” said Anjee Davis, President of Fight Colorectal Cancer. “We see these tools as invaluable resources to patients. The publications give our community the latest information on the standards of care in a patient-friendly way while providing the most updated information on clinical practice guidelines for health care providers.”

“It is so important for patients and their families to have access to reliable, up-to-date and understandable information about their cancer to assist in composing questions and making decisions about their care when seeking guidance from their clinicians. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients and NCCN Quick Guide™ sheet for Rectal Cancer are such tools that we hope will be invaluable to those with rectal cancer and their friends and family as they manage the complexities of this disease,” said Al B. Benson, III, MD, Associate Director for Cooperative Groups, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, and Chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panels for Colon, Rectal, and Anal Cancers. “Patient advocacy groups are important partners for both patients and clinicians and we are so grateful that Fight Colorectal Cancer has partnered with us at NCCN to create this new information and decision tool for patients everywhere.”

NCCN Guidelines for Patients and NCCN Quick Guide™ sheets—one-page summaries of key points in the patient guidelines—are written in plain language and include patient-friendly tools, such as questions to ask your doctor, a glossary of terms, and medical illustrations of anatomy, tests, and treatment. NCCN Guidelines for Patients and NCCN Quick Guide™ sheets DO NOT replace the expertise and clinical judgment of the clinician.

NCCN currently offers patient education materials for the following: Brain, Breast, Colon, Distress, Esophageal, Kidney, Non-Small Cell Lung, Ovarian, Pancreatic, Prostate, Rectal, Stomach, and Thyroid Cancers; Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer; Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia; Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia; Hodgkin Lymphoma; Lung Cancer Screening; Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma; Melanoma, Multiple Myeloma; Myelodysplastic Syndromes; Nausea and Vomiting; Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas; Soft Tissue Sarcoma; and Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia.

The NCCN Guidelines for Patients and NCCN Quick Guide™ sheet for Rectal Cancer are available to download free of charge from and the NCCN Patient Guides for Cancer mobile app.


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 at every step of their treatment journey 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 furthering the betterment of patients through their groundbreaking innovations. For more information about NCCN Foundation, visit

About Fight Colorectal Cancer
Fight CRC is a national nonprofit advocacy organization fighting for a cure. It was founded in 2005 by Nancy Roach, a patient advocate who witnessed the need for colorectal cancer advocacy after her mother-in-law’s diagnosis. The organization plays an important role in rallying colorectal cancer advocates to action. Fight CRC is known for activism and patient empowerment throughout patient, academic, political, scientific, medical and nonprofit communities. With a mission focused on advocacy, research, patient education and awareness, the organization serves advocates in every state of the U.S. and many others around the world. Fight CRC is a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator and 93 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to colorectal cancer programs. To learn more, visit

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 Cancer Institute, 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 Comprehensive 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.