PDQ® Cancer Information Summaries

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The PDQ cancer information summaries are comprehensive, evidence-based summaries on topics that cover adult and pediatric cancer treatment, supportive and palliative care, screening, prevention, genetics, and integrative, alternative, and complementary therapies. Most of the summaries are available in two different formats:

  • Health Professional versions provide detailed information written in technical language and are fully referenced with links to PubMed abstracts.
  • Patient versions are written in lay language and include links to the NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. Many patient summaries also include illustrations.

Both versions of the summaries are available to all audiences as a service of the NCI. Most of the summaries are also available in Spanish.

Adult Treatment Summaries
The adult treatment summaries provide prognostic and treatment information on the major types of cancer in adults. Summaries are available for over 70 types of common and rare cancers. Health professional versions of the summaries provide detailed information on prognosis, staging, and treatment for each disease; refer to key citations in the literature; and link to abstracts for the citations. All of the PDQ adult treatment summaries are available in patient versions and in Spanish.

Pediatric Treatment Summaries
The pediatric treatment summaries contain prognostic and treatment information on the major types of cancer in children, as well as information on unusual childhood cancers. Health professional versions of the summaries provide detailed information on prognosis, staging, and treatment for each disease; refer to key citations in the literature; and link to abstracts for the citations. All of the PDQ pediatric treatment summaries are available in patient versions and in Spanish.

Supportive and Palliative Care Summaries
PDQ's supportive and palliative care summaries provide descriptions of the pathophysiology and treatment of common physical and psychosocial complications of cancer and its treatment, such as pain, fatigue, and nausea/vomiting. Each health professional version generally contains an overview, information on etiology, assessment and management, and references to the current literature. All of the PDQ supportive and palliative care summaries are available in patient versions and in Spanish.

Screening Summaries
Summaries are available on screening for many of the common cancers such as lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate, as well as some other cancer types. Health professional versions of the summaries contain current data about screening for particular disease sites, and the levels of evidence, significance, and evidence of benefit for the statements. Supporting references to current literature are included. All of the PDQ screening summaries are available in patient versions and in Spanish.

Prevention Summaries
Summaries are available on the prevention of many of the common cancers including lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate, as well as some other cancer types. Health professional versions of the summaries contain current data about prevention interventions for particular disease sites, and the levels of evidence, significance, and evidence of benefit for the statements. Supporting references to current literature are included. All of the PDQ prevention summaries are available in patient versions and in Spanish.

Genetics Summaries
PDQ genetics summaries provide evidence-based information about the genetic basis of certain cancers. Information is given about risk factors related to family history, major genes and syndromes associated with the disease, interventions specific to individuals at high risk, and the ethical, legal, and social issues related to cancer risk counseling and gene testing. An overview of cancer genetics and summaries on the genetics of breast and gynecologic cancers, colorectal cancer, endocrine and neuroendocrine neoplasias, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer are currently available. A summary covering the elements of cancer risk assessment and counseling is also available.

Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Summaries
The health professional versions of the summaries contain background information about the treatments; a brief history of their development; information about their proposed mechanism(s) of action; and information about relevant laboratory, animal, and clinical studies. All integrative, alternative, and complementary therapies summaries are available in patient versions and include glossary links to definitions of scientific terms. Most summaries are also available in Spanish.

  • Updated: April 13, 2016