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Advanced Breast Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment

Advanced Breast Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment

NICE Clinical Guidelines - National Collaborating Centre for Cancer (UK)

Version: February 2009

Diagnosis and assessment

A new diagnosis of advanced breast cancer may be suspected in patients who have previously been treated for breast cancer, and who present with symptoms such as bone pain, dyspnoea, nausea, abdominal discomfort and general malaise. Occasionally metastatic disease may be suspected at first presentation.

Systemic disease-modifying therapy

The management of patients with advanced breast cancer is complex. When making treatment choices there is a trade off between quality of life, the risks of toxicity and the probabilities of benefit in terms of improving symptoms, quality of life or survival. Decisions need to be based on an understanding by the patient of the effectiveness and side effects of the treatments offered.

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