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69

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Breast Cancer - Early-Stage

(STAGES I AND II)

, Version 1.2016

As described in Part 4, there are rare subtypes of

breast cancer that tend not to spread outside the

breast. These rare, lower-risk subtypes include

tubular and mucinous carcinomas. If the extent of a

rare cancer is small, you may want to take endocrine

therapy to prevent cancer in a breast that didn’t have

cancer. Endocrine therapy would also further reduce

the small chance of cancer returning in the breast that

was treated for cancer. Endocrine therapy is advised

for lower-risk cancers if the breast tumor is 3 cm or

larger or a tumor in a lymph node is larger than 2 mm.

Chart 6.1

shows when endocrine is advised for

higher-risk subtypes that are hormone receptor–

positive. Higher-risk subtypes include the more

common breast cancers. Endocrine therapy is also

based on tumor size.

Endocrine therapy is an option if a breast tumor is

0.5 cm or smaller and hasn’t spread. The results of

local treatment alone are often very good. In contrast,

endocrine treatment is advised if a breast tumor is

larger than 0.5 cm or lymph node tumors are present.

6

Endocrine therapy

Treatment options