Number of UK patients with metastatic breast cancer isn’t known

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 09 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5205
  1. Jane Feinmann
  1. Lisbon

Two thirds of NHS hospitals in England don’t accurately record the number of patients who receive a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, despite the fact that trusts were told to collect the data as far back as 2012.

In December 2012 the then National Cancer Intelligence Network, now merged into Public Health England’s National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, wrote to hospital trusts requiring them to “ensure that data are collected on breast cancer recurrences and metastases at the time of patient contact.”1

“The policy was unfortunately introduced with no support plan in place to help hospitals implement the change,” said Gunes Kalkan, head of policy at the UK breast cancer charity Breast Cancer Care, at the Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC4) International …

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