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Breast Cancer Centre And Database Needed

Dr Jackie Blue National Party MP

06 October 2005

Breast Cancer Centre And Database Needed

National MP and breast specialist, Dr Jackie Blue is calling for the establishment of a dedicated national breast cancer centre.

She says the centre would collect and analyse national breast cancer data, monitor trends, waiting times for assessment and treatment, establish national standards of practice and provide education and support services for women diagnosed with breast cancer.

"Today, an estimated ten women will be told they have breast cancer and three women will die of this disease. It is tragic that these statistics are five years out of date.

"The information that is currently collected is incomplete, as it does not include treatment or recurrence data. Also, there doesn't appear to be any on-going in depth analysis of what is collected."

Dr Blue said that waiting times for assessment and treatment were variable throughout the country, with a lack of trained staff a constant concern. There also needed to be national standards of best practice, so that surgeons and oncologists had a benchmark to follow.

A New Zealand woman diagnosed with breast cancer has almost a 30% increased chance of dying of breast cancer compared with her Australian counterpart.

"While there are a number of possible reasons for this, the fact is that Australia has had an established, dedicated national breast cancer coordination centre for the past ten years.

"We have to get the basics right. Establishing a dedicated national breast cancer centre, with the first priority being the collection and analysis of breast cancer data including treatment information, will be a major step in the right direction," says Dr Blue.

ENDS

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