The large volumes of symptomatic breast referrals continues to stress capacity for many breast units in the UK and Ireland. A significant proportion of these referrals are for patients with breast pain and clinicians and managers have developed new and innovative ways to see, image and treat these patients. The ABS are aware of several well publicised breast pain initiatives but there are likely to be many more being used in practice. Some units have yet to decide on a strategy.
There are efforts to improve the evidence base for the management of breast pain (led by the research committee) but usable results are unlikely to surface soon. In the meantime, the ABS wants to promote safe and operationally sound breast pain pathways that members can choose to adopt in their own service.
If you and your colleagues have a breast pain pathway currently in use that works well for your service and patients, we would kindly ask that you submit it to the clinical practice and standards committee (CPSC) using the attached form. The CPSC will then assess the pathway to ensure it ticks all the boxes for governance and usability. If successful, the pathway would be endorsed by the ABS with a view to evaluation supported by the academic & research committee.
We hope to be able to provide a range of pathways that members can adopt for their own practice. The research committee's evaluation process aims to ensure that pathways are robustly assessed after implementation.
We thank you in advance for your assistance.
Karina Cox and Ramsey Cutress
Chairs of the Clinical Practice & Standards and Academic & Research Committees