Management of Gynecologic Issues in Women With Breast Cancer

  • Practice Bulletin PB
  • Number 126
  • March 2012

ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the most common type of invasive cancer in American women, whose lifetime risk of the disease is one in eight. In 2009, there were an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer in the United States 1. Although rates have decreased slightly in the past few years, there are 2 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States. Improvements in prevention and screening and more effective treatment are continually occurring, and changes are relatively quickly translated into clinical practice. Breast cancer treatment is becoming more individualized and depends on both the extent of disease and individual tumor features. Treatments involve surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapies.

All types of breast cancer treatment have potential deleterious effects on women as well as how they view themselves. Therefore, it is important for women’s health care providers to have an understanding of breast cancer treatments and their potential gynecologic side effects. The purpose of this document is to review the effect of breast cancer treatment on common women’s health issues such as fertility, contraceptive management, menopause, sexual function, and osteoporosis, and to provide a rationale for follow-up and treatment of these gynecologic issues.

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