The guidelines also encourage women to undergo a risk assessment for developing breast cancer beginning at age 25, then start annual screening at age 40. Additionally, the guidelines address the appropriate way to evaluate symptoms that could be signs of breast cancer, such as a palpable lump, pain, or nipple discharge.
The new guidelines will help people understand their personal risk for breast cancer, emphasizing when they should begin screening and how often they should screen. With this information, patients will have more informed conversations with their healthcare providers and be more active in the decision-making process, according to the NCCN.
While the new guidelines do not represent any major changes in NCCN policy, they do include for the first time patient education materials. The guidelines are available on the NCCN website, and provide information to patients on nearly 60 cancer types, side effects, distress management, and survivorship.
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