Breast Cancer Surgery
In recent years there have been enormous advances in the treatment of breast cancer. However, few people appreciate that surgery remains the foundation of treatment and is responsible for curing many people.
Whilst there have been many significant breakthroughs with new cancer drugs, less is known about the advances in cancer surgery over this time. Breast cancer surgery has changed so that complete removal of tumours can now be achieved as well as a good cosmetic result. As a result, more people are now able to lead normal and fulfilling lives.
The Association of Breast Surgery (ABS) is working to improve surgery and standards of care for people with breast cancer. Along with the other specialist surgical societies, we have promoted specialisation of UK surgeons to ensure that patients see surgeons with a special interest in breast cancer. The ABS will continue to promote earlier diagnosis, develop better treatment and guidelines to ensure high quality treatment for all in the UK.
Whilst we are happy to provide information about the ABS and its role, we are unable to provide recommendations of individual surgeons to members of the public. If you have any concerns about symptoms you may be experiencing you should contact your GP.
ABS Response to the Conviction of Ian Paterson
Ian Paterson was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding at Nottingham Crown Court on 28th April 2017.
The Association of Breast Surgery would like to express its sympathy to the patients who have suffered as a result of Mr Paterson’s actions.
Although Mr Paterson has never been a member of the Association of Breast Surgery, the organisation views this incident very seriously. Work is ongoing to review the events that have occurred and identify lessons that can be learnt, both general and those specific to breast surgery. These will be disseminated to our members and those involved in breast care.
We would like to reassure patients that this incident reflects the actions of a single individual surgeon working outside acceptable standards of care and does not represent the current standard of breast care in the UK. The first priority of our members is always the health, wellbeing and safety of patients.
The Association of Breast Surgery constantly endeavours to raise the already high standards of breast surgery by providing members with ongoing education and training with support for research and national audits. These collectively aim to ensure the delivery of a high standard of breast surgery care throughout the UK. You can read a list of recommendations for patients here.
Information for patients - Oncoplastic breast reconstruction: guidelines for best practice
This information for patients has been produced with Breast Cancer Care to complement the Oncoplastic Breast Reconstruction: Guidelines for Best Practice. They aim to ensure that all breast cancer patients are well informed about oncoplastic breast reconstruction and set out what all breast cancer patients can expect from their breast reconstruction team.
To download the guidelines please click here.
Information on the use of biological tissue matrices in breast implant reconstruction
Lifecell have produced information about the use of biological tissue matrices in breast implant reconstruction to provide professional and patient advocacy groups with relevant information for patient support materials. To view this information please click here.
Information for those considering cosmetic surgery
The Royal College of Surgeons has launched patient resources on its website to offer advice to individuals considering cosmetic surgery on how to choose the right surgeon and hospital and to explain the risks and possible complications of undergoing surgery. The web pages also include a section on questions to ask a surgeon before consenting to an operation, a downloadable checklist and three short animation films.
Pregnancy and Breast Cancer
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists produced this information about pregnancy and breast cancer for patients in 2014.
Patients may find the following websites of use.