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Guidelines For Managing Advanced-Stage Breast Cancer

The European School of Oncology (ESO) and the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) have put out new guidelines on treating advanced-stage breast cancer.

Advanced breast cancer (ABC) is a treatable but still generally incurable disease. The goals of care are to optimize both length and quality of life. In spite of all the advances, median overall survival of patients with ABC is still only 2–3 years, although the range is wide, and survival may be longer for patients treated in specialized institutions. Implementation of current knowledge is highly variable among countries and within each country.

Key overall recommendations by the 2nd International Consensus Conference for Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC2) are:

The guidelines also include many specific recommendations for treating and managing specific types of advanced-stage breast cancer, including:

The guideline panel also said much more research is needed to answer questions about four situations:

If you’ve been diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer, it’s reassuring to know that these guidelines outline many treatment options. If one treatment stops working, there are others you can try. If you’re willing to participate in a clinical trial, you may have even more options available. Together, you and your doctor can determine the best treatments for you.


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