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Vidyya, from the Sanskrit "vaidya," a practitioner who has come to understand the science of life.

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PDQ/CANCERLIT Service Center

  1. What is the PDQ/CANCERLIT Service Center?

    The PDQ/CANCERLIT Service Center provides customized searches from the National Cancer Institute's PDQ and CANCERLIT databases to health professionals. Physicians and other health professionals can make requests through a toll-free telephone service, e-mail, or fax. The goal of the Service Center is to make information from PDQ and CANCERLIT available to health professionals who do not have the time or resources to access the databases directly. The PDQ/CANCERLIT Service Center is supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

  2. What is PDQ?

    PDQ is the NCI's comprehensive, computerized cancer information database. Updated monthly, PDQ contains the most up-to-date information available about cancer treatment, screening, prevention, genetics, and supportive care.

    PDQ contains:

    • Treatment Summaries for Patients and Health Professionals: peer-reviewed, detailed staging and treatment information for more than 80 types of adult and pediatric cancers.

    • Screening/Detection Summaries for Patients and Health Professionals: peer-reviewed information about cancer screening for major cancer sites.

    • Prevention Summaries for Patients and Health Professional: peer-reviewed information about cancer prevention for major cancer site.

    • Supportive Care Summaries for Patients and Health Professionals: peer-reviewed information on the assessment and management of problems and conditions commonly associated with cancer and its treatment.

    • Genetics Summaries for Health Professionals: peer-reviewed information on genetics of specific cancers and inherited cancer syndromes.

    • Clinical Trials: open and closed clinical trials from around the world.

    • Directories of Health Care Professionals and Organizations: approximately 24,000 physicians, professionals who provide cancer genetics services, and over 3,000 organizations active in cancer care.

  3. What is CANCERLIT?

    CANCERLIT is an NCI bibliographic database of more than 1.4 million records of cancer literature published in the last 30 years. It is updated monthly to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date resource of published cancer research results.

  4. What area does the PDQ/CANCERLIT Service Center serve?

    The Service Center serves the health professional community worldwide. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern U.S. time.

  5. How do health professionals request searches through the PDQ/CANCERLIT Service Center?

    Health professionals can use the following methods to reach the Service Center:

    • Toll-free telephone:
    • 18003453300
    • Toll-free fax (inside U.S.):
    • 18003801575
    • Fax outside the U.S.:
    • 3018979563
    • Internet e-mail:
    • Mail:
    • PDQ/CANCERLIT Service Center
      National Cancer Institute
      9030 Old Georgetown Road
      Bethesda, MD 20814

  6. Who performs searches?

    Search Specialists, trained by NCI to take search requests from health professionals, perform the searches. Although Search Specialists are not physicians and cannot make recommendations, they can provide the most accurate and up-to-date information available from PDQ.

  7. How will the Service Center send information to requestors?

    The Service Center can send information via mail, fax, or e-mail. The Service Center can also send materials via express mail if the requestor covers the cost.

    Note: There are limits on the length of information that can be sent via fax.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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