Overview These NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Breast Cancer are the work of the members of the NCCN Breast Cancer Panel. Categories of evidence and consensus were assessed and are noted in the algorithms and text. Although not explicitly stated at every decision point of the NCCN Guidelines, patient participation in prospective clinical trials is the preferred option of treatment for all stages of breast cancer. The full breast cancer guidelines are not printed in this issue of JNCCN, but can be accessed online at www.NCCN.org. The American Cancer Society estimated that 209,060 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed and 40,230 people died of breast cancer in the United States in 2010.1 In addition, approximately 54,010 women were diagnosed with carcinoma in situ of the breast during the same year. Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women in the United States and is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death. The incidence of breast cancer has increased steadily in the United States over the past few decades, but breast cancer mortality seems to be declining,1,2 suggesting a benefit from early detection and more effective treatment. The cause of most breast cancer cases is unknown. However, numerous risk factors for the disease have been established, including female gender, increasing patient age, family history of breast cancer at a young age, early menarche, late menopause, older age at first live birth, prolonged hormone replacement therapy, previous exposure to therapeutic chest...
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