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Cancer Organizations Issue Guidelines for Breast Cancer Survivors

Update Date: Dec 08, 2015 09:40 AM EST

The American Cancer Society and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) have issued joint guidelines for breast cancer survivors. The guidelines are meant to help people with a history of the disease find effective ways of preventing or catching early signs of the cancer or other types of cancers.

"Women with a history of breast cancer are at higher risk than women without a history of breast cancer for many issues, including obesity, heart disease and sexual health issues," two authors, Dr. Carolyn Runowicz of Florida International University in Miami and Corinne Leach of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, said in an email reported by FOX News.

According to the guidelines, survivors who did not undergo a double mastectomy could benefit from getting routine mammograms and physical exams. Survivors should not, however, get additional imaging or lab tests unless there are signs of a potential malignant tumor.

The guidelines added that to increase survival numbers, the survivors should stay on endocrine therapy, which involves getting hormonal treatments for about five to 10 years. The guidelines also advise survivors to address other issues that could have developed, such as depression, fatigue and body image.

"These new guidelines represent a comprehensive set of recommendations covering the spectrum of issues that face breast cancer survivors after their primary treatment," said co-author Dr. Gary Lyman, co-director of the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research in Seattle.

"Breast cancer survivors face potentially significant impacts of cancer and its treatment, and deserve high-quality, comprehensive, coordinated clinical follow-up care," the authors wrote reported by HealthDay via "Primary care clinicians must consider each patient's individual risk profile and preferences of care to address physical and psychosocial impacts."

The experts from both groups examined data from 237 studies that were conducted on breast cancer survivors in order to update the guidelines. They also spoke with medical experts in primary care, gynecology, medical oncology and more.

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