New guideline addresses long-term needs of breast cancer survivorsDecember 07, 2015
ATLANTA - Dec. 7, 2015-A new breast cancer survivorship care guideline created by the American Cancer Society and the American Society of Clinical Oncology provides guidance to primary care and other clinicians in caring for the estimated 3.1 million female adult survivors of breast cancer in the United States.
The guideline is the third in a continuing series of guidelines to provide guidance on identifying and managing potential physical and psychosocial long-term and late effects of cancer and its treatment, as well as other key elements of adult post-treatment survivorship care. Previous guidelines address the needs of survivors of prostate and colorectal cancers.
The guideline recommends that breast cancer patients should undergo regular surveillance for breast cancer recurrence, including evaluation with a detailed cancer-related history and physical examination, and should be screened for new primary breast cancer consistent with guidelines. At the same time, data do not support performing routine laboratory tests or imaging tests, except mammography when indicated, in asymptomatic patients to evaluate for breast cancer recurrence.
The guideline also recommends that primary care clinicians counsel patients about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, monitor for post-treatment symptoms that can adversely affect quality of life, and counsel patients to adhere to endocrine therapy.
In addition to recommendations about screening tests and lifestyle factors, the guideline includes information on a broad range of other issues, from cognitive impairment and body image to fatigue and care coordination.
"Breast cancer survivors face potentially significant impacts of cancer and its treatment and deserve high-quality, comprehensive, coordinated clinical follow-up care," write the authors. "Primary care clinicians must consider each patient's individual risk profile and preferences of care to address physical and psychosocial impacts."
American Cancer Society
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The proportion of women in the United States undergoing surgery for early-stage breast cancer who have preventive mastectomy to remove the unaffected breast increased significantly in recent years, particularly among younger women, and varied substantially across states.
Breast cancer patients with dense breast tissue have almost a two-fold increased risk of developing disease in the contralateral breast, according to new research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer.
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An annual mammogram is recommended after treatment for breast cancer, but nearly one-third of women diagnosed with breast cancer aren't receiving this follow-up exam, according to new findings presented at the 2016 Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.
Even though dense breast tissue is a risk factor for breast cancer, very low mammographic breast density is associated with a worse prognosis in breast cancer patients.
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