Updated guidance to address side effects of breast cancer treatment

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 5, 2012

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As the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. continues to rise, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists updated recommendations to help physicians treat common side effects of breast cancer treatment. The guidance was published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

ACOG recommends that physicians assess breast cancer survivors for risk of developing osteoporosis, because cancer treatment often adversely affects bone health. Doctors are encouraged to talk to such patients about ways to reduce their risk of bone loss, including performing muscle-strengthening exercises and stopping smoking (link).

For patients who experience hot flashes or night sweats, physicians can offer them relaxation techniques and breathing exercises, ACOG said. The guidelines also encourage doctors to assure patients who want children that pregnancy after breast cancer is not thought to increase the likelihood that the disease will recur.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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