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George Handzo, Jill M. Bowden and Stephen King

Spiritual care and chaplaincy have been part of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Distress Management since the first meeting of the panel in 1997, possibly the first time this degree of spiritual care and chaplaincy care integration occurred in cancer care. Since that time, the chaplaincy care section of the guidelines, especially chaplain assessment categories derived from a spiritual care assessment, have provided a major resource for healthcare chaplaincy and have served as a model for integrating chaplaincy into the overall team practice of healthcare. However, this section of the NCCN Guidelines has not been substantially updated since it was originally written. During those 20 years, the practice of healthcare chaplaincy and the research that supports it have grown substantially. In the last year, at the request of the panel, we have updated the chaplaincy care section to fully integrate recently published evidence in spiritual care in healthcare, adding more value to this important set of guidelines. Those updates appear in the 2019 version of the NCCN Guidelines. This article discusses the history of chaplaincy involvement in the NCCN Guidelines for Distress Management and the precedent it set for the integration of chaplaincy in other efforts that followed. Integration of this section of the Guidelines into the spiritual care practice at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is presented as an example of how these guidelines can be put into practice to improve patient care. Finally, a summary of the recent research by Drs. Kenneth Pargament and Julie Exline is presented as the foundation for the revised chaplain assessment categories and interventions.

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Crystal S. Denlinger, Robert W. Carlson, Madhuri Are, K. Scott Baker, Elizabeth Davis, Stephen B. Edge, Debra L. Friedman, Mindy Goldman, Lee Jones, Allison King, Elizabeth Kvale, Terry S. Langbaum, Jennifer A. Ligibel, Mary S. McCabe, Kevin T. McVary, Michelle Melisko, Jose G. Montoya, Kathi Mooney, Mary Ann Morgan, Tracey O’Connor, Electra D. Paskett, Muhammad Raza, Karen L. Syrjala, Susan G. Urba, Mark T. Wakabayashi, Phyllis Zee, Nicole McMillian and Deborah Freedman-Cass

Many cancer survivors experience physical and/or psychosocial side effects, which can be severe, debilitating, and sometimes permanent. These NCCN Guidelines for Survivorship provide screening, evaluation, and treatment recommendations for common consequences of cancer and cancer treatment for health care professionals who work with survivors of adult-onset cancer in the posttreatment period. These introductory sections of the guidelines include the panel’s definition of cancer survivors, a discussion of the effects of cancer and its treatment, general principles and standards for survivorship care, and guidance regarding screening for problems that require further assessment.

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Crystal S. Denlinger, Robert W. Carlson, Madhuri Are, K. Scott Baker, Elizabeth Davis, Stephen B. Edge, Debra L. Friedman, Mindy Goldman, Lee Jones, Allison King, Elizabeth Kvale, Terry S. Langbaum, Jennifer A. Ligibel, Mary S. McCabe, Kevin T. McVary, Michelle Melisko, Jose G. Montoya, Kathi Mooney, Mary Ann Morgan, Tracey O’Connor, Electra D. Paskett, Muhammad Raza, Karen L. Syrjala, Susan G. Urba, Mark T. Wakabayashi, Phyllis Zee, Nicole McMillian and Deborah Freedman-Cass

Cancer treatment, especially hormonal therapy and therapy directed toward the pelvis, can contribute to sexual problems, as can depression and anxiety, which are common in cancer survivors. Thus, sexual dysfunction is common in survivors and can cause increased distress and have a significant negative impact on quality of life. This section of the NCCN Guidelines for Survivorship provides screening, evaluation, and treatment recommendations for female sexual problems, including those related to sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, and pain.

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Crystal S. Denlinger, Robert W. Carlson, Madhuri Are, K. Scott Baker, Elizabeth Davis, Stephen B. Edge, Debra L. Friedman, Mindy Goldman, Lee Jones, Allison King, Elizabeth Kvale, Terry S. Langbaum, Jennifer A. Ligibel, Mary S. McCabe, Kevin T. McVary, Michelle Melisko, Jose G. Montoya, Kathi Mooney, Mary Ann Morgan, Tracey O’Connor, Electra D. Paskett, Muhammad Raza, Karen L. Syrjala, Susan G. Urba, Mark T. Wakabayashi, Phyllis Zee, Nicole McMillian and Deborah Freedman-Cass

Various anticancer treatments, especially those directed toward the pelvis, can damage blood vessels and reduce circulation of blood to the penis and/or damage the autonomic nervous system, resulting in higher rates of erectile dysfunction in survivors than in the general population. In addition, hormonal therapy can contribute to sexual problems, as can depression and anxiety, which are common in cancer survivors. This section of the NCCN Guidelines for Survivorship provides screening, evaluation, and treatment recommendations for male sexual problems, namely erectile dysfunction.