Among American women, breast cancer is the most common cancer, after skin cancer. About 1 in 8 (12 percent) women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
For 2017, the American Cancer Society estimates that:
Incidence rates of breast cancer are highest in non-Hispanic white women; however, breast cancer death rates are highest in African American women.
Source: American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2017-2018.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, surpassed only by lung cancer. Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than age 50. It is believed that earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment, has led to these decreases.
Today, there are more than 3 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.
Source: Miller KD, et al. Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2016. CA Cancer J Clin. 2016;66:271–289.
To support quality improvement projects in breast cancer, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has joined with Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change (IGLC) to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) with the intent of funding QI initiatives that fully integrate BRCA testing into patient care plans in order to help inform the treatment decision-making process.
ACCC is partnering with AXIS Medical Education in an educational research project to assess the value of a robust, independent, quality-focused educational intervention that aims to improve a community cancer program's quality measures related to management of patients with HER2+ breast cancer (all stages). Two ACCC-member Cancer Programs are participating in the project.
Decades of work by many in the breast cancer community, including both providers and patients, has achieved gains in breast cancer awareness and early detection nationwide. These efforts have helped communicate the experiences of many breast cancer patients and survivors—a group who, for many years, did not feel understood. Despite these successes, expanded conversations about breast cancer have simultaneously led to a perception that all breast cancers can be prevented and/or cured. While this may reflect the experience of those living with early-stage breast cancer, it does not mirror the experience of those living with advanced, stage IV, or metastatic breast, a chronic disease with no current prevention strategy. With this education project, ACCC to improve communication between the multidisciplinary cancer care team and their patients with metastatic breast cancer.