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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Breast Cancer – Metastatic (STAGE IV), Version 2.2017

How to use this book

Who should read this book?

This book is about treatment for metastatic breast

cancer. Almost all breast cancers occur in women.

As such, most of this book is written with women

in mind. However, men are treated just like women

except where noted.

Patients and those who support them—caregivers,

family, and friends—may find this book helpful. It is

a good starting point to learn what your treatment

options may be.

Are the book chapters in a

certain order?

The book chapters follow a common treatment

pathway. Starting with

Part 1

may be helpful. It

explains what breast cancer is.

Part 2

lists what health care is needed before

treatment. Cancer tests are used to plan the best

treatment for you.

Not all women get the same treatment. In

Part 3


treatment options based on cancer features are

listed. Tips for talking and deciding treatment with

your doctor are presented in

Part 4


Does this book include all


This book includes information for many people.

Your treatment team can point out what applies to

you. They can also give you more information. While

reading, make a list of questions to ask your doctors.

The treatment options are based on science and

the experience of NCCN experts. However, their

recommendations may not be right for you. Your

doctors may suggest other options based on your

health and other factors. If other options are given,

ask your treatment team questions.

Help! What do the words


In this book, many medical words are included.

These are words that your treatment team may say

to you. Most of these words may be new to you. It

may be a lot to learn.

Don’t be discouraged as you read. Keep reading and

review the information. Ask your treatment team to

explain a word or phrase that you do not understand.

Words that you may not know are defined in the text

or in the


. Acronyms are also defined when

first used and in the


. Acronyms are short

words formed from the first letters of several words.

One example is DNA for