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Postoperative radiotherapy for breast cancer: UK consensus statements


Consensus statements

Who are the statements for

All those working clinically, commissioners and others in the NHS who are responsible for the provision of care for women with early breast cancer.

How the document was produced

A core group consisting of patient representatives from 'Independent Cancer Patient Voice', a lay member from The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR), multidisciplinary breast cancer specialist health professionals representing therapeutic radiographers (The Society and College of Radiographers), clinical oncologists (the RCR and UK Breast Cancer Meeting), radiotherapy physicists (Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine) and breast surgeons (Association of Breast Surgery) and an NHS England commissioner, developed a series of short statements around optimal breast radiotherapy practice and a questionnaire about current practice in breast radiotherapy. The RCR’s Clinical Oncology Heads of Service, representing all UK radiotherapy centres, were contacted and asked to identify a clinical oncologist, therapeutic radiographer and radiotherapy physicist with a specialist interest in breast cancer to review the first draft of the practice statements and complete the questionnaire.

Contacts were established with 53 out of 62 centres, of which 38 provided comments on the practice statements and 39 completed the questionnaire. Feedback was incorporated into presentations given by members of the core group at a consensus meeting held at the RCR in March 2016. Forty eight centres were represented at this meeting by at least one of the three disciplines that had been identified to review the first draft of the statements and complete the questionnaire. Electronic voting pads were used to vote on the statements, with one pad/one vote per centre. Before the meeting it was agreed that a vote of 70% or more would constitute consensus.

Unanimous support 100%
Very strongly supported 90–99%
Strongly supported 70–89%
Majority support 60–69%
Equipoise  50–59%
Rejected  <50%

Evidence was presented to support practice statements and discussion was facilitated by core group chairs. Representatives were then asked to vote on behalf of their centre.

Members of the core group took notes of the discussion.

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