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ASCO and ACS Issue New Guideline on Breast Cancer Survivorship Care

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
pink ribbonThe American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) today issued a joint clinical practice guideline on the care of female adult breast cancer survivors. The guideline includes recommendations on surveillance for breast cancer recurrence, screening for second primary cancers, management of long-term and late effects, health promotion, care coordination and practice implications.

“ASCO is pleased to collaborate with the American Cancer Society on this first joint ACS-ASCO guideline,” said ASCO President Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO. “We look forward to continuing our work together to improve the quality of cancer care for the millions of people affected by cancer.”

The guideline is intended to provide recommendations to primary care physicians, as well as other clinicians who care for breast cancer survivors. The recommendations are consistent with and complementary to ASCO’s breast cancer follow-up care guideline and ASCO’s symptom-focused survivorship guidelines.

“The new guideline addresses the issues facing women breast cancer survivors as they transition from treatment to survivorship,” said Carolyn D. Runowicz, MD, FASCO chair of the ASCO/ACS Expert Workgroup that developed the guideline. “The recommendations should result in high quality survivorship care, with a focus on improving their quality of life and health outcomes.”

The guideline recommendations were developed by a multidisciplinary expert workgroup, with expertise in primary care, gynecology, surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology and nursing. In addition, a cancer survivor was included to provide a patient perspective. The workgroup conducted a systematic review of literature published through April 2015 and identified 237 relevant articles.

“I believe that this broad set of recommendations will provide for optimal health outcomes for the increasing number of breast cancer survivors,” said Gary H. Lyman, MD, MPH, FASCO, FRCP, ASCO’s representative on the ASCO/ACS Expert Panel that developed the guideline. “This joint guideline initiative will also serve as a framework for future fruitful collaborations between ACS and ASCO across the spectrum of cancer care and survivorship.”

Key guideline recommendations:

* Patients should undergo regular surveillance for breast cancer recurrence (including cancer-related history and physical examinations), and be screened for new primary breast cancer.

* Routine laboratory test or imaging tests to evaluate for breast cancer recurrence are not recommended in asymptomatic patients.

* Primary care physicians should counsel patients about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, monitor for post-treatment symptoms and for adherence to hormone (endocrine) therapy.

The guideline, American Cancer Society/American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Survivorship Care Guideline, was published today in both CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Information providing insight on these recommendations for patients is available at The guideline is available at, along with supplementary materials.