Clinical outcome data for symptomatic breast cancer: the Breast Cancer Clinical Outcome Measures (BCCOM) Project

Br J Cancer. 2009 Aug 4;101(3):395-402. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605155. Epub 2009 Jul 14.


Background: Data collection for screen-detected breast cancer in the United Kingdom is fully funded, which has led to improvements in clinical practice. However, data on symptomatic cancer are deficient, and the aim of this project was to monitor the current practice.

Methods: A data set was designed together with surrogate outcome measures to reflect best practice. Data from cancer registries initially required the consent of clinicians, but in the third year anonymised data were available.

Results: The quality of data improved, but this varied by region and only a third of the cases were validated by clinicians. Regional variations in mastectomy rates were identified, and one-third of patients who underwent conservative surgery for the treatment invasive breast cancer were not recorded as receiving radiotherapy.

Conclusion: National data are essential to ensure that all patients receive appropriate treatment for breast cancer, but variations still exist in the United Kingdom and further improvement in data capture is required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Data Collection*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome