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Early and locally advanced breast cancer. Implementing NICE guidance. 2009. NICE clinical guideline 80. What this presentation covers. Background Scope Key priorities for implementation Savings Discussion Find out more . Background. Most common cancer in women in England and Wales

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Early and locally advanced breast cancer

Implementing NICE guidance


NICE clinical guideline 80

what this presentation covers
What this presentation covers



Key priorities for implementation



Find out more

  • Most common cancer in women in England and Wales
  • Approximately 40,500 new cases and 10,900 deaths each year in England and Wales
  • Two major categories: in situ and invasive cancer
  • The guideline follows recent important developments in investigation and management
  • Helps to address practice variation across the country
policy background
Policy background

The guideline supports the:

  • Cancer Reform Strategy, England (2007)
  • Wales Cancer Standards (2005)
  • Manual of Cancer Service Standards for England (2004)
  • NHS Cancer Plan (2000)

It refers to NICE cancer service guidance:

  • Referral guidelines for suspected cancer (2005)
  • Improving outcomes in breast cancer (2002)
patient centred care
Patient-centred care
  • Treatment and care should take into account patients’ needs and preferences
  • Patients should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with their healthcare professionals
  • Women with newly diagnosed invasive adenocarcinoma of the breast (clinical stages 1 & 2 where primary tumour is < 5 cm diameter and there is no spread beyond breast and axillary lymph nodes
  • Women with invasive adenocarcinoma (clinical stage 3 including primary tumours > 5 cm diameter and inflammatory carcinoma)
  • Men with newly diagnosed invasive adenocarcinoma of the breast (clinical stages 1, 2 and 3)
  • Women with newly diagnosed DCIS
  • Women with Paget’s disease of the breast
key priorities for implementation 1
Key priorities for implementation (1)

The areas identified as key priorities for implementation are:

• Preoperative assessment of the breast

• Staging of the axilla

• Surgery to the axilla

• Breast reconstruction

• Adjuvant therapy planning

key priorities for implementation 2
Key priorities for implementation (2)

• Aromatase inhibitors

• Assessment of bone loss

• Primary systemic therapy

• Follow-up imaging

• Clinical follow-up

preoperative assessment
Preoperative assessment

Offer magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast to patients with invasive breast cancer:

  • if there is discrepancy regarding the extent of disease from clinical examination, mammography and ultrasound assessment for planning treatment
  • if breast density precludes accurate mammographic assessment, or
  • to assess the tumour size if breast conserving surgery is being considered for invasive lobular cancer
staging of the axilla
Staging of the axilla
  • Pretreatment ultrasound evaluation of the axilla should be performed for all patients being investigated for early invasive breast cancer
  • If morphologically abnormal lymph nodes are identified, ultrasound-guided needle sampling should be offered
s urgery to the axilla
Surgery to the axilla
  • Minimal surgery, rather than lymph node clearance, should be performed to stage the axilla for patients with early invasive breast cancer and no evidence of lymph node involvement on ultrasound or a negative ultrasound-guided needle biopsy
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy is the preferred technique
breast reconstruction
Breast reconstruction
  • Discuss immediate breast reconstruction with all patients who are being advised to have a mastectomy, and
  • Offer it except where significant comorbidity or (the need for) adjuvant therapy may preclude this option
  • All appropriate breast reconstruction options should be offered and discussed with patients, irrespective of whether they are all available locally
assessing receptor status
Assessing receptor status
  • Assess oestrogen receptor (ER) status of all invasive breast cancers, using immunohistochemistry with a standardised and qualitatively assured methodology, and report the results quantitatively
  • Do not routinely assess progesterone receptor status of tumours in patients with invasive breast cancer
  • Test human epidermal growth receptor 2 (HER2) status of all invasive breast cancers, using a standardised and qualitatively assured methodology
  • Ensure that the results of ER and HER2 assessments are available and recorded at the multidisciplinary team meeting when guidance about systemic treatment is made.
a djuvant therapy planning
Adjuvant therapy planning
  • Start adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy as soon as clinically possible within 31 days of completion of surgeryin patients with early breast cancer having these treatments.
aromatase inhibitors
Aromatase inhibitors

• Postmenopausal women with ER-positive early invasive breast cancer who are not considered to be at low risk should be offered an aromatase inhibitor, either anastrozole or letrozole, as their initial adjuvant therapy. Offer tamoxifen if an aromatase inhibitor is contraindicated ornot tolerated

assessment of bone loss
Assessment of bone loss

Patients with early invasive breast cancer should have a baseline dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan to assess bone mineral density if they:

  • are starting adjuvant aromatase inhibitor treatment
  • have treatment-induced menopause
  • are starting ovarian ablation/suppression therapy
primary systemic therapy
Primary systemic therapy
  • Treat patients with early invasive breast cancer irrespective of age, with surgery and appropriate systemic therapy, rather than endocrine therapy alone, unless significant comorbidity precludes surgery.
follow up imaging
Follow-up imaging
  • Offer annual mammography to all patients with early breast cancer, including DCIS, until they enter the NHS Breast Screening Programme/Breast Test Wales Screening Programme
  • Patients diagnosed with early breast cancer who are already eligible for screening should have annual mammography for 5 years
clinical follow up
Clinical follow-up

Patients should have an agreed , written care plan recorded by a named healthcare professional, to include:

  • designated named healthcare professionals
  • dates for review of any adjuvant therapy
  • details of surveillance mammography
  • signs and symptoms to look for and seek advice on
  • contact details for immediate referral to specialist care
  • support services contact details, for example, support for patients with lymphoedema

Send a copy to the GP and give a copy to the patient.


How do we ensure that patients are enabled and supported in making decisions about

  • their treatment options in surgery, adjuvant, systemic and endocrine therapies
  • their choice of follow-up planning?

How do we recognise when a patient is in need of extra support (for example, emotional, psychological, social, cultural)?

What protocols for support do we have in place when a patient’s choice of reconstructive surgery is not available here?

find out more
Find out more

Visit for:

  • the guideline
  • the quick reference guide
  • ‘Understanding NICE guidance’
  • costing report and template/costing statement
  • audit support