Breast Cancer Treatment Project
The Breast Cancer Treatment Project commenced in May 1997, and led to the development of an ongoing community based audit of breast cancer treatment based on clinical indicators agreed by the ACT & SE NSW Breast Cancer Treatment Group.
The aim of the project is to collect and examine data on treatment and outcomes for women with breast cancer.
The general and long-term goal of the study is to improve breast cancer treatment and in turn to reduce the death from breast cancer and to improve the quality of life of cancer patients. This can be reached through the following objectives:
- To describe the patterns of care of breast cancer among men and women residing in the ACT and surrounding region;
- To provide individual participating clinicians with an ongoing audit of their own practices and outcomes in breast cancer management; and
- To describe the outcomes of breast cancer treatment in the region.
The project was funded for the first twelve months by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care Cancer Screening Unit, and continues to be funded within BreastScreen, ACT Community Care.
A report describing the initial 14 months of the project was published in the Medical Journal of Australia in 2000. As follow-up information is collected, the audit database may become a useful resource for examining treatment outcomes from standard treatment of breast cancer.
The foundation of the project has been voluntary, unfunded contribution of data by the region's surgeons and other clinicians.
For any enquiries or comments about the Breast Cancer Treatment Project please contact the Project Coordinator:
ph: (02) 6205 0967
Any clinical questions should be directed to:
Dr Paul Craft
ph: (02) 6244 2220
If you require any further information please contact the Project Officer on (02) 6205 1542.
About the Breast Cancer Treatment Group
In 1995, following the publication of the NHMRC Guidelines for the Management of Early Breast Cancer, an invitation was sent to potentially interested clinicians and other parties in the ACT and surrounding NSW to participate in the forming of a local interest group.
The intention was for the group to look at issues surrounding the management and treatment of breast cancer within the local environment.
A regional group
The unique nature of the region was seen to be an important and distinctive feature - a small number of hospitals and located within the ACT and the area covered by the Southern Area Health Service of NSW, provided the potential to establish a regional group not aligned to any institution or area health service.
This map covers the area where data is collected for the study. Of all cases between 1997 and 2001, 65% of new breast cancer cases are from the ACT, and 35% from the South Eastern of NSW region.
The initial meetings of the group focused on developing the terms of reference and the local protocols for the various clinical groups.
Very early on in the life of the group it was agreed that if we were to make full use of the NHMRC guidelines then we would need to be able to monitor what treatment was being provided to women with breast cancer in the region and to compare that treatment with the best practice guidelines.
In order to do this appropriate data collection mechanisms needed to be put in place. Funding was sought and gained from the Commonwealth for a project officer to undertake the development of a data base and the ongoing collection of data relating to the treatment of breast cancer.
Other activities the group has focused on include refining the data set and hearing from each clinical group in turn about new developments in breast cancer treatment.
A number of guest speakers have been invited to attend the meetings and to speak on national issues relating to breast cancer. The meetings continue to be well attended 14 years after the establishment of the group and the wealth of data collected will provide an ongoing source of information to ensure that women receive the best care available.
The Breast Cancer Treatment Project is conducted by the ACT and SE NSW Region Breast Cancer Treatment Group (which is made up of surgeons, oncologists, pathologists, nurses, epidemiologists, social workers, ACT Cancer Society representatives, GPs, and others involved in the management of women with breast cancer).
The aim of the project is to collect and examine data on treatment and outcomes for women and men with breast cancer. This will lead to improved breast cancer treatment in the ACT and surrounding region.
Breast Cancer Treatment Quality Assurance Project Q&A
1. Why is the project being done?
Breast cancer is the most common cancer effecting women. The project has the potential to improve breast cancer treatment, to reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer and to improve outcomes for breast cancer patients in the ACT and SE NSW.
2. What is the intended outcome of the project?
In the short term, the collated data will assist individual doctors to assess the treatment they give to their patients and compare it to recommended clinical guidelines. In the long term, the result of the project will help to improve breast cancer treatment by promoting uniformly high standards.
3. Can this project benefit me?
Although this project may not directly benefit you, studies in Australia and overseas have shown that different treatment practices exist among doctors caring for patients with breast cancer, and this can lead to different treatment outcomes.
The data from this project may benefit patients diagnosed with breast cancer and the community by adding to what we already know.
4. How can I find out which treatment is best for me?
The overall aim of the project is to assess current breast cancer treatment in our area. If you want to find out which is the best treatment for yourself, or if you are in doubt about your current treatment, you should discuss with your treating doctor. ‘A Guide for Women with Early Breast Cancer’ booklet contains a great deal of information on treatment options and is obtainable from the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20, or from your doctor.
5. What should I do if I agree to take part in this project?
Before you make a decision, your doctor or nurse will discuss your participation in the project. You will then be asked to sign a consent form. If you decide to take part in the project, information about your treatment will be collected through your doctor and passed on to the Project Officer.
6. Where are my results going?
The Breast Cancer Treatment Quality Assurance Project collects all information. Your information is strictly confidential. Personal information on any patient is accessible only to the Project Officer and Project Coordinator. Results from the project will not be linked to any individual patient.
7. What do I do if I decide to leave the project?
You can cease participating in the project at any stage. Please tell your doctor of your decision.
8. What has the project achieved so far?
The treatment of over 5000 people with breast cancer has been analysed. Results have been published in 5-year and 10-year reports. In addition, eight research projects have been successfully completed. Details are available on the project website.
9. Where can I get further information about the project?
Talk to your doctor or call the Breast Cancer Treatment Project Officer on (02) 6205 1542.
(02) 6205 1542. You can also access the project website at: www.health.act.gov.au/Research
Articles and papers published and presented by members of the ACT and SE New South Wales Breast Cancer Treatment Group.
Breast Cancer Treatment Group: Quality Assurance Project: Ten-year report July 1997–June 2007
Surgical Management of Invasive Breast Cancer: A 5 year Prospective Study of Treatment in the ACT & SE NSW
Surgical margins and risk of locoregional recurrence in invasive breast cancer: an analysis of 10-year data from the Breast Cancer Treatment Quality Assurance Project. The Breast, March 2013 , currently in press only available online.
Prognostic value of LINE – 1 retrotransposon expression and its subcellular localization in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, November 2012, 136(1): 129-142.
Tumor size and survival in multicentric and multifocal breast cancer. The Breast, June 2011, 20(3): 258-263.
Clinical characteristics and outcomes of bilateral breast cancer in an Australian cohort. The Breast, April 2011, 20(2): 158-164
Variation in the management of early breast cancer in rural and metropolitan centres: Implications for the organisation of rural cancer services. The Breast, October 2010, 19(5): 396-401.
Synchronous multiple ipsilateral breast cancers: implications for patient management. Journal of the Royal college of Pathologists of Australasia, January 2009, 41(1):57-67. Only Abstract available online
Surgical management of invasive breast cancer: a 5-year prospective study of treatment in the Australian Capital Territory and South-Eastern New South Wales. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Surgery, September 2005, 75 (9): 757-761.
Breast cancer guidelines in action: the challenge is to develop and sustain audit programs on an ongoing basis. Medical Journal of Australia, March 2000, 172(5): 196-197.
Implementing clinical practice guidelines: a community-based audit of breast cancer treatment. Medical Journal of Australia, March 2000, 172(5): 213-216.
Ten years of a breast cancer database in the ACT and SE NSW. The Australasian Society for Breast Disease 7th Scientific Meeting. October 2009, Gold Coast, Australia
Breast cancer treatment and outcome in the ACT and surrounding regions. The Australasian Health & Research Data Managers’ Association 18th Annual Scientific Meeting, March 2009, Perth, Australia
Assessment of tumour size and its relationship to nodal involvement in multi-focal and multi-centric breast cancer. Am J Clin Oncol 2007. American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting Proceedings Part I. 25:18S (June 20 Supplement), 2007: 10602
Measuring up multi-focal breast cancer – a retrospective analysis of tumour size and lymph node status in multi–focal/multi-centric breast cancer in the ACT and SE NSW. At Grand Rounds, November 2005, Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australia
Surgical management of DCIS in the ACT & SE NSW to
- Surgeons in Darwin, April 2005
- Surgeons in Darwin, April 2005
- Royal Australian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Conference, Perth, May 2005.
Surgical management of ductal carcinoma in-situ in the ACT & SE NSW at the Surgeons at Canterbury Hospital, Sydney, September 2004.
Surgical management of invasive breast cancer in the ACT & SE NSW at the
- Canberra Surgical Group, Canberra, March 2004.
- Surgeons in Nowra Hospital, Nowra, April 2004.
- Surgeons in Canterbury Hospital, Sydney, April 2004.
- Breast Group Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, April 2004.
- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Conference, Melbourne, May 2004.
Node Negative breast cancer – to treat or not to treat? That is the question at Canberra Hospital, Advances in Clinical Practice Section of Grand Rounds, July 2002.
Clinical Predictors and Histopathological Associates of Primary Failure of Breast Conserving Therapy at the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA) 28th Annual Scientific Meeting, Brisbane, November 2001.
Clinical Predictors and Histopathological Associates of Primary Failure of Breast Conserving Therapy at the
- Australian and Chinese Surgeons, China, November 2004.
Belconnen & Central Local Area Networks – GP Forum, Canberra, May 2000.
China’s 5th Cancer Conference, Xiamen PRC, April 2000.
Treatment guideline implementation strategies for early breast cancer at the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA) 25th Annual Scientific Meeting, Sydney, November 1998.
Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine and Public Health Association, the 1998 ACT Public Health Expo, Australian National University, Canberra, August 1998.
Breast Cancer Tissue Banking Project in the Australian Capital Territory”, Yip D, bean EG, Rezo A, Cho C, Zhang Y, Twin J, Carpenter JE, Dahlstrom JE. At Canberra Health Annual Research Meeting 2012 and Australasian Biospecimen Network Association Meeting , Hobart 2012
Female Breast Cancer in ACT : A review of new research”, Clair Behm and Members BCTG , 2011
A regional approach in Australia to quality and safety in breast cancer management: 10 years on. The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and The College of Surgeons of Hong Kong Conjoint Annual Scientific Congress, May 2008, Hong Kong, China
A retrospective analysis of tumour size and lymph node status in multifocal breast cancer in Australian Capital Territory and South-East New South Wales. Pathology Update 2006. Sydney Convention Centre, Sydney, Australia, 10–12 March [This presentation won the Board of Education poster prize]
Breast cancer and treatment in the ACT & SE NSW Quality Assurance Project 1997-2002 at the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA) 31st Annual Scientific Meeting, Canberra, November 2004.
Surgical management of invasive breast cancer in the ACT & SE NSW at the Leura V International Breast Cancer Conference, Sydney, November 2004.
Surgical management of ductal carcinoma in-situ in the ACT & SE NSW at the
- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress, Canberra May 2001.
- NSW Surgical Registrars Conference, Sydney, August 2004.