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About Guidelines

Cancer Care Ontario guidelines cover the entire cancer continuum – prevention, screening, diagnostic assessment, treatment, palliative care, end-of-life care and survivorship. They contain recommendations for practice and policy that reflect the most current and best evidence available from healthcare research and expert opinion. 

Types of Guidelines

  • Clinical Practice Guidelines are used to help healthcare providers and patients make evidence-informed healthcare decisions for specific medical situations.
  • Health System Guidelines are used by leaders in the cancer care system – people such as managers and organizers – to help them make evidence-informed decisions.
  • Health Technology Assessments provide a review of technology solutions and their value within a healthcare setting.
  • Evidence Summaries are reviews of the best available evidence from healthcare research on a specific topic that provide guidance to healthcare providers, managers and/or policy makers, but do not make recommendations.
  • Position Statements describe Cancer Care Ontario’s perspective on a specific topic, as a response to an external statement, guideline, policy position or practice.
  • Economic Evaluations study the value for money of investments in programs and processes to fight cancer. They help decision-makers get the most out of each investment.

How Guidelines are Created

Guideline Development Groups (GDGs) are brought together to work on a guideline for a specific topic. Cancer Care Ontario’s Program in Evidence-Based Care (PEBC) follows the guideline development cycle described in the PEBC Handbook.

A multidisciplinary panel of clinicians, content experts and methodologists work together to:

  • define practice questions
  • identify all relevant evidence
  • appraise and interpret the literature
  • reach a consensus to create draft recommendations

Once draft recommendation documents are developed, they are then circulated to relevant stakeholders for external review and feedback. A summary of this feedback and the panel response is included in the final documents.

Getting Involved

Are you interested in participating in a panel or the guideline review process? Contact the Program in Evidence-Based Care (PEBC) at guidelines@cancercare.on.ca.