New Statement identifies 'what ought to be done' in breast cancer

Release Date: 

24/10/2016

News Type: 

  • Media Releases

New Statement identifies ‘what ought to be done’ in breast cancer
A new, first of its kind, Statement on best practice in cancer aims to iron out unwarranted variations in breast cancer care for women in Australia.

Professor Helen Zorbas, CEO, Cancer Australia, said that while survival for women with breast cancer in Australia is among the highest in the world, there is evidence that not all patients are receiving the most appropriate care.

“Some patients are not getting the information they need about the options that are right for them. This unwarranted variation in practice has the potential to have an impact on patient outcomes and experience,” said Professor Zorbas.  

The Cancer Australia Statement: influencing best practice in breast cancer, launched today, Pink Ribbon Day, identifies 12 key appropriate and inappropriate practices which represent agreed priority areas in breast cancer practice, from diagnosis to palliative care.

“Patients are at the centre of our efforts to maximise clinical benefit, minimise harm and deliver patient-centred care. The Statement is intended to complement relevant clinical practice guidelines, and highlights what ‘ought to be done’ in breast cancer care,” said Professor Zorbas.  

Cancer Australia took a highly collaborative, consultative and evidence-based approach, which brought all key clinicalColleges and cancer organisations together with women affected by breast cancer to agree the priority areas of practice.

“The Statement encourages health professionals to reflect on their clinical practice to ensure it is aligned with the evidence and delivers appropriate care for individual patients,” said Professor Zorbas.

“Importantly, it also supports people with breast cancer to engage with their health professionals to make informed, evidence-based decisions that deliver the best outcomes for them.”

Professor Zorbas said that not every practice will be relevant for all people diagnosed with breast cancer.

“The practices that are relevant to an individual will depend on the type and stage of their breast cancer, their age, and where they are in their breast cancer journey. It is important that women receive the care that is right for them.”

Emeritus Professor Bruce Barraclough, Chair of the Breast Cancer Expert Group behind the Statement, said, “The Cancer Australia Statement is a really important body of work that supports the involvement of patients in achieving best care. A collaborative and multidisciplinary approach was central to the development of the Statement and will continue to play a key role in its implementation.”

To view the Cancer Australia Statement: influencing best practice in breast cancer, visit canceraustralia.gov.au/statement.

Cancer Australia has released a series of short videos on each practice of the Statement. To view the videos, visit canceraustralia.gov.au.

For all media enquiries, please contact: Karla Davies at Cancer Australia on (02) 9357 9401, 0438 209 833or email karla.davies@canceraustralia.gov.au