Background: Young women with breast cancer (YWBC) experience worse medical and psychosocial outcomes than their older counterparts. Early input from a multidisciplinary team via pre-treatment multidisciplinary cancer conferences (pMCCs) may be important for addressing the complex needs of YWBC. However, pMCCs are not common. This study has two parts: a survey and workshop aimed at assessing clinicians' perspectives on pMCCs, including the importance of pMCCs in the care of YWBC, as well as barriers to, and strategies for supporting their implementation.
Methods: Survey results highlight variability across sites in the delivery of multidisciplinary care in general. However, both survey and workshop results emphasize clinicians' agreement on the importance of pMCCs and suggest that numerous practical and systems levels barriers be addressed before pMCCs can be implemented.
Conclusions: pMCCs have the potential to improve surgical treatment and psychosocial outcomes for YWBC. A combined practical and policy approach to their implementation, which sees extension of existing standards to include pMCCs, may support their adoption and subsequent audit practices to assess the effect of pMCCs on outcomes for YWBC.
Keywords: breast cancer; cancer conference; multidisciplinary care; pre-treatment; young women.