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Stating best practice in breast cancer care

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Although 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.

Cancer Australia has brought together evidence and expertise to support improved and informed practice in breast cancer. The Cancer Australia Statement — influencing best practice in breast cancer is based on the best available evidence and is supported by expert clinical and consumer advice. The statement represents agreed priority areas which, if implemented, will support effective, patient-centred breast cancer care and reduce unwarranted variations in practice.

The statement aims to encourage health professionals to reflect on their clinical practice to ensure that it is aligned with best practice. It also aims to encourage consumers to start conversations with their medical teams to improve their cancer experience and outcomes.

There are 12 practices in the breast cancer statement, from diagnosis across the continuum of care. The practices are identified as either appropriate or not appropriate.

A practice is appropriate if it is beneficial for patients, effective (based on valid evidence, including evidence of benefit), efficient (cost-effective) and equitable.

A practice is not appropriate if it is not consistent with the evidence, may cause potential harm or provides little benefit to…