An estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur among women in the U.S. during 2014; about 2,360 new cases are expected in men. In addition to invasive breast cancer, 62,570 new cases of in situ breast cancer are expected to occur among women in 2014. Of these cases, approximately 83 percent will be ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).1
The treatment of breast cancer has become more complex. Management requires imaging to direct surgical treatment. Pathologic evaluation determines the options of local and systemic treatment. The heterogeneity of breast cancer becomes much more important when dealing with cancers smaller than 1.5 cm. A variety of care providers will interact with the patient as this course progresses. As the size of breast cancer decreases, the complexity of decision making increases, as well as the number of people involved with patient care. In the past, breast care used to depend solely on individual effort. Now, as the majority of cancers are nonpalpable and sentinel node sampling becomes the standard, patients must depend on a coordinated interdisciplinary team to achieve a successful outcome. Breast centers have the opportunity to bring together all the members of the breast care team to perform optimally.2 Breast centers were formalized more than 20 years ago when mammography became commonplace and recognized as a valuable screening procedure. The breast center models vary from freestanding to institution based, from physician owned to hospital owned, from imaging only to comprehensive support programs, from cancer center-affiliated to women’s center-affiliated, and all the intervening gradations. No breast centers are exactly alike. The National Consortium of Breast Centers has defined the many breast center variations.3
Why Become Accredited?
- Public recognition of commitment to quality care at the local and national levels
- Access to data to measure and improve quality
- To improve the quality of care and monitoring of outcomes for patients with diseases of the breast
- To meet demands of payers and insurers and provide necessary information for internal assessment of care
- Because patients and payers are seeking accredited programs that have documented outcomes that meet or exceed national benchmarks
- To take advantage of the opportunity to join a nationally recognized group dedicated to providing quality care
- Because physicians seek careers and gravitate to reputable, accredited centers meeting evidence-based standards and reporting of accurate date to a national, multidisciplinary body
Benefits of Becoming an NAPBC-Accredited Center
Accreditation by the NAPBC offers many notable benefits that will enhance a breast center and its quality of patient care.
NAPBC-accredited centers offer the following:
- A model for organizing and managing a breast center to ensure multidisciplinary, integrated, and comprehensive breast care services
- Internal and external assessment of breast center performance based on recognized standards to demonstrate a commitment to quality care
- Recognition by national health care organizations as having established performance measures for high-quality breast care
- National recognition and public promotion
- Participation in a National Breast Disease Database to report patterns of care and effect quality improvement
- Access to breast center comparison benchmark reports containing national aggregate data and individual center data to assess patterns of care and outcomes relative to national norms
1. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2014. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2014.
2. Kaufman CS. Letter to the Editor. Breast J. 2004;10(5):469-472.
3. Lee CZ. Comprehensive breast centers: Priorities and pitfalls. Breast J. 1999;5(5):319-324.