The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is one of the world’s leaders in publishing cancer guidelines for oncologists and other healthcare providers. The NCCN is a not-for-profit network of 27 of the world’s leading cancer centers. These evidence-based and expert-opinion based guidelines are routinely cited when providing initial therapy as well as follow-up care for nearly 50 different types of cancer. Previously, we reviewed the NCCN Guidelines app for oncologists and found the content to be world-class, but the oncology app lacked some polish. The guidelines were previously available via Epocrates and Omnio, but now only exist in the “official” NCCN app.

The NCCN has just released their “guidelines for patients” in a medical app format. These patient guidelines are based on the same ones for oncologists, but are far more patient-friendly. They cover 25 different types of cancer and include information on screening, treatment and follow-up. They include questions for patients to ask their providers, medical illustrations and definitions of various cancer terms. The oncology app also contains 31 quick reference guides covering basic questions that are hyperlinked to the full guideline on a particular topic. The guidelines are also available on the NCCN website.

Video Review of NCCN Patient Guides for Cancer medical app

Evidence based medicine

NCCN for Patients is based on the NCCN guidelines for oncologists. These guidelines are evidence and expert-opinion based. Many oncologists consider these the standard of care guidelines for the initial treatment and follow-up of cancer patients. However, since oncology is a rapidly changing field, patients should always discuss the content of the guidelines in detail with their oncologist to ensure they are receiving the best available care.

Who would benefit from the NCCN Patient Guides for Cancer Medical App?

Patients with cancer, their families and members of their healthcare team.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

  • Price
    • Free
    • Content from an authoritative and respected source.
    • Comprehensive with over 25 different types of cancer included.   
    • Quick reference guides with extensive hyperlinks.
    • Downloadable for offline use.
    • Available for Android.
  • Dislikes
    • Interface a bit too simplistic, but works.  
    • Guidelines really just glorified PDFs, but do include search function and table of contents.
    • Quick reference guidelines may not be detailed enough.
    • May be best viewed on larger screened devices such as an iPad.
  • Overall

    The NCCN Patient Guides for Cancer medical app brings the world-renowned guidelines literally into patients’ hands for use at the point-of-care. Although, the interface could be improved the content is authoritative and indispensable to patients with cancer.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Simple PDF interface, but made usable via download function, hyperlinks and quick reference guides.

  • Multimedia Usage

    Extensive hyperlinking within the app between quick reference guides and the main guidelines. Able to download guidelines for offline use and share sections or entire guidelines from within the app with others.

  • Price

    App is free.

  • Real World Applicability

    Cancer patients can now take these guidelines with them everywhere and share the questions suggested within each guideline with their healthcare providers. Yet another excellent app to ensure patients with chronic diseases receive state of the art care.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 6S running iOS 10.1

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