|Frequently Asked Questions|
What does the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) develop?
NCCN develops the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), a widely used set of clinical recommendations about cancer treatment; the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®, which include the same information your doctors use to diagnose and treat cancer, translated into language you and your family can understand; the NCCN Treatment Summaries for People With Cancer™, the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium (NCCN Compendium®), a compilation of cancer drugs derived from the NCCN Guidelines that supports decision-making about the use of cancer medications; and the NCCN Chemotherapy Order Templates (NCCN Templates®), a library of chemotherapy order templates developed to improve the safe and effective use of drugs and biologics in cancer care. NCCN also publishes JNCCN — The Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network; develops continuing medical education courses for oncologists and other clinicians; runs the NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP); and organizes meetings for clinicians and others.
What does an NCCN Member Institution offer that I might not find elsewhere?
NCCN Member Institutions employ many of the world’s leading oncologists. The NCCN Member Institutions are high-volume cancer centers with access to the latest therapies, clinical trials, and technologies for the treatment of cancer. Researchers at the NCCN Member Institutions have made major breakthroughs in cancer treatment and continue to be at the forefront of scientific discoveries.
How can I become a patient or obtain a second opinion at an NCCN Member Institution?
Each NCCN Member Institution has its own policies and procedures for accepting patients and providing second opinions. Go to the NCCN Member Institution page to find contact information for each center.
How can I learn if there are clinical trials available for my type of cancer?
Visit our Clinical Trials page for help locating a clinical trial at an NCCN Member Institution nearest you. Also see our Guide to Clinical Trials to learn some basic information about clinical trials and the questions to ask before you decide if a trial is right for you.
The medical center where I’m being treated is not an NCCN Member Institution. Does that mean I won’t get the best treatment?
No. There are many excellent cancer centers throughout the U.S. and the world. NCCN Member Institutions are unique in these ways: they are all top-quality, well-recognized, and highly specialized and/or comprehensive cancer centers and their physicians contribute to the development of the NCCN Guidelines®, a widely used set of treatment recommendations for cancer care. NCCN Guidelines are used by medical centers and doctors throughout the U.S. and the world. If your cancer is considered to be complex and/or is infrequently seen at the hospital where you are being treated, an NCCN Member Institution may be a good option for you. Ask your doctor if a referral to a large, specialized and/or comprehensive cancer center could be beneficial to you.
Can I be treated at an NCCN Member Institution if I don’t live in the U.S.?
Yes. In addition, NCCN Member Institutions provide a variety of supportive resources for international patients including assistance finding lodging, translators, and patient coordinators. To find more information about such programs, contact NCCN Member Institutions directly.
I do not have health insurance; how can I get financial assistance for cancer treatment?
There are several government agencies and cancer advocacy organizations that are able to provide financial assistance. Visit our Financial Assistance and Insurance sections for more information. Also visit our Resources page.
Why is my type of cancer not covered in the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®?
NCCN.com is a new website and we are working to expand our library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients® to include many of the cancers covered in the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®). We will be adding new guidelines throughout the year and are continuously updating the existing guidelines.
What is the difference between NCCN.com and NCCN.org?
NCCN.com is the consumer website of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 23 of the world’s leading cancer centers. It has been designed to provide the same information that physicians use to make treatment decisions to people with cancer, their families and caregivers. NCCN's flagship website, NCCN.org, is geared toward health care professionals. It provides physicians and others with access to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) and additional materials that help doctors and other health care professionals make decisions about cancer treatment and payment. There is content on each website that may be of interest to both patients and professionals. We encourage you to visit both websites.
Why are there ads on NCCN.com?
The ads you see on this website support our website operations. NCCN is a not-for-profit organization that does not receive government funding, nor are the operations supported by private foundations or individuals. The website is supported by advertising in much the same way as are peer-reviewed medical journals, newspapers, magazines, and many health and other websites. Learn about our Advertising Policy.
What conflict of interest rules does NCCN have in place?
NCCN has strict conflict of interest rules to protect the integrity of all NCCN materials. Each clinician or other professional who serves on a panel of the NCCN Guidelines must disclose any organizational or corporate relationship that could be financially advantaged or disadvantaged by the action of the NCCN Guidelines Panel. Each relationship is reviewed by NCCN executive staff and the NCCN Guidelines Panel Chair. If a potential conflict of interest is determined to be significant, the NCCN Guidelines Panel Member is excused from the panel discussion. The external relationships of NCCN Guidelines Panel Members are available to the public and updated annually. No pharmaceutical industry funds are accepted for any component of NCCN Guidelines development or related materials (i.e., NCCN Compendium®). More than 800 oncologists and other health care professionals donate more than 15,000 hours a year to work on the NCCN Guidelines and other programs. This volunteer effort has been so successful that the NCCN Guidelines are the most frequently updated clinical practice guidelines in any area of medicine.
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