President's Message

It is an honour and a privilege to serve the patients and breast health care community as the President of the Association of Breast Surgery.We have over 2,000 members, and we are the voice of breast surgery in the UK, dedicated to improving patient care. I would like to be able to encourage and empower our members to put patient welfare at the heart of everything we do, and work together to make our voice heard.

Breast surgery has been the leader in the field of Multidisciplinary Team working, the role of cancer nurse specialists, national cancer audits and so much more. Now we lead the way in equality and diversity in our committees, no innovation without evaluation (but we have more to do) in workforce planning, looking after trainees and GIRFT to name a few. So, let us “Honour the past and inspire the future.”

Collaboration is going to be the theme of my Presidency. As I said in my acceptance speech, interdependence is the highest level of maturity, and it allows us to look both internally and externally to find win-win situations.

In 1995, we were in our infancy as the Breast Group within BASO (British Association of Surgical Oncology), dependant on the parent organisation for everything. Then over the years we grew and became independent, as ABS in 2010, managing our own membership, office, and finances. Now, we are in a healthy state, and we need to collaborate nationally and globally sharing resources for the benefit of all.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer, even when you look at all people, of all ages, worldwide, and the incidence is rising. We have a common enemy and we should focus our energy to combat it.

I am very fortunate to be surrounded by excellent colleagues, a fantastic Board of Trustees, an amazing Association Manager and office staff I can rely on. So, I feel confident we will continue to set and advance standards in the field of breast care and breast surgery during and beyond my term of office.

Leena Chagla
ABS President