From 1975 to 2009, adolescents and young adults with cancer in the United States had less mortality reduction and survival improvement than either children or older adults with cancer. An NCI Progress Review Group (PRG) convened in 2005 issued a variety of recommendations to overcome the lack of progress, including the establishment of care guidelines. The outcome of 15- to 39-year-olds with cancer in the United States in 2009 was ascertained from the SEER registry, and the first guidelines for this age group, presented by NCCN, were reviewed. For the first time, the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology provide specific algorithm-based care recommendations for 15- to 39-year-olds with cancer, who as an age group have the greatest potential patient-years of life to be saved. A special emphasis on psychosocial evaluation and care is included, commensurate with the unique needs of persons in this age group. Although how widely the NCCN Guidelines will be used remains to be seen, they are timely, comprehensive, responsive to the NCI PRG recommendations, and a valuable resource for medical oncologists, hematologists, gynecologic oncologists, oncologic surgeons, and pediatric oncologists who care for patients between 15 and 40 years of age. A patient version will have mutually beneficial effects for families and professionals.
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- Author: Archie Bleyer x
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