Breast Unit Guidelines
The requirements of a specialist breast unit
In October 1998 in Florence the First European Breast Cancer
Conference took place, jointly organised by the European Organization for the
Research and Treatment of Cancer Breast Cancer Cooperative Group (EORTC-BCCG),
the European Society of Mastology (EUSOMA) and Europa Donna. Delegates agreed a
consensus on research, genetic predisposition, psycho-social status, treatment
and notably quality of care.
'The Florence Statement'
 demanding that all women have access to multidisciplinary breast
clinics based on populations of around 250,000; also it called for mandatory
quality assurance programmes for breast services. With the intention of
assuring a high quality specialist service Europe-wide, a working party was
established to consider what should comprise a specialist service. These
resulted in the publication of The 'Requirements of a Specialist Breast Unit',
which represents the opinion of the European Society of Mastology (EUSOMA) and
EORTC on the standards required for forming high quality Breast Units across
These Guidelines have been generally well received and have been
influential in the introduction of the multidisciplinary working in several
countries. 'The Brussels Statement'
, following EBCC-2 drew attention to these guidelines and demanded
that processes of accreditation of breast units be implemented. The importance
of the establishment of multidisciplinary breast units was again stressed in
'The Hamburg Statement'
, which followed EBCC4. Attention was drawn to the approval given to
this in the European Parliament (OJC 68 E (18.03.2004), p.611).