European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists EJC online - The official journal of EUSOMA Improving Breast Cancer Care in Europa
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Breast Unit Guidelines

The requirements of a specialist breast unit

5. Mandatory requirements


5.1. Critical mass
5.2. Core team

5.1. Critical mass

A Unit must be of sufficient size to have more than 150, newly diagnosed cases of primary breast cancer (at all ages and stages) coming under its care each year.

Note: these are newly diagnosed breast cancers. They may have been diagnosed elsewhere but if they have received any prior treatment and have been transferred, for example, to receive radiotherapy, they should not be counted.

All primary treatment must be carried out under the direction of the Unit (operation must be in the unit, adjuvant therapies must be directed by the unit but may have been received in other settings e.g. RT and chemotherapy). Follow up should be under the control of the Unit.

The reason for recommending a minimum number is to ensure a caseload sufficient to maintain expertise for each team member and to ensure cost-effective working of the Breast Unit: the establishment of a clinic staffed by experts is expensive and must have a high through-put of patients.

A number of Units will be recognised as teaching centres, nationally or internationally. They may be recognised for teaching overall breast cancer management or special aspects (e.g.) screening, reconstruction, pathology.


Please use this address to send us any comments you want to make on the guidelines - we welcome your feedback:


San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. 5th-9th December 2017 , San Antonio,Texas,USA

San Antonio
Breast Cancer Symposium
5th-9th December 2017
San Antonio,Texas,USA

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