History of Breast 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. Breast cancer surgery has changed so that complete removal of tumours can now be achieved, as well as a good cosmetic result, allowing patients to lead normal and fulfilling lives.
The Association of Breast Surgery (ABS) works 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 and training in breast surgery. The ABS will continue to promote early diagnosis and develop better treatment and guidelines to ensure high quality care 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.
Below you will find information, links to guidelines for patients and links to support organisations.
Recommendations for patients following the conviction of Ian Paterson
Mr 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 and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on 31st May 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. We would like to reassure patients that this incident reflects the actions of an individual surgeon working outside acceptable standards of care and does not represent the current standard of breast care in the UK. You can read the ABS' recommendations for patients here.
“Breast reconstruction, for those who choose it, is a core component of a patient’s recovery, either from breast cancer or from risk-reducing surgery.”
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive Breast Cancer Now
Breast Cancer Now’s report "Delivering real choice: The future of breast reconstruction in England" contains recommendations to facilitate access to breast reconstruction
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.
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.
Pregnancy and Breast Cancer
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists produced this information about pregnancy and breast cancer for patients in 2014. They will be reviewing this guidance in 2017 and an updated version will be available in due course.