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European guidance for breast cancer screening and diagnosis

9 November, 2018
Breast cancer ribbon

The latest recommendations on breast cancer screening and diagnosis have been published by the European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer (ECIBC).

The European Breast Guidelines are currently being developed to provide women and healthcare providers with clear, objective and independent guidance on breast cancer screening and diagnosis. Recommendations already available can be found online, and more will be released in the coming months.

Screening: latest recommendations
Included within the latest recommendations is advice on the best way to invite women to attend screening; clarifies that organised screening programmes have greater ability to cover the target population, greater effectiveness as well as providing a more equitable access to these services; and suggests that double reading will improve the sensitivity of mammography whereby the mammograms are read, generally independently, by two trained readers.

Diagnosis latest recommendations
One of the recommendations in this area evaluates the two non-operative methods to obtain samples of a breast lesion: fine needle aspiration cytology and needle core biopsy. Other recommendations include advice on the threshold of oestrogen and/or progesterone which should be used to provide endocrine therapy in women with invasive cancer; and if Ki-67 testing (in addition to clinico-pathological indices and breast biomarkers) should be used to guide the administration of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with hormone receptor positive, HER-2 negative, lymph node negative invasive breast cancer.

Over the next two years, approximately 90 evidenced-based recommendations regarding screening and diagnosis will be developed and published on the ECIBC website as they become available. Supplemental recommendations will be developed and updated as new evidence and priorities emerge. Future recommendations will cover other aspects of breast cancer.

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