International breast health guidelines

Specific recommendations for improving breast-health care and cancer treatment in countries with limited resources have been published by the Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI), an international coalition of doctors, scientists, policy makers and advocates led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

"The Guidelines for International Breast Health and Cancer Control" are published as a 122-page supplement in the January-February 2006 issue of The Breast Journal. The material is available free of charge on the Internet on the BHGI website at http://www.fhcrc.org/science/phs/bhgi/news/2006/updatedguidelines.html.

Benjamin O. Anderson, M.D., is chairman and director of BHGI, which he founded in 2002 to address the growing rate of breast cancer in developing nations and the need for such nations to provide more services to women.

"Many challenges in health care extend beyond the capacity of any one organization or sector to address effectively," he said. "This is especially true in a global world where traditional boundaries between what are 'public' and 'private' responsibilities have become blurred. The Guidelines for International Breast Health and Cancer Control is an example of what a collaborative, working global alliance can achieve."

Building on guidelines first published in 2003 to help developing nations find ways to make economically feasible and culturally appropriate care available to medically underserved women, "The Guidelines for International Breast Health and Cancer Control" expand and refine the earlier work by proposing an economically stratified approach to providing breast care based on available health-care resources, and a check-list format.

The BHGI Guidelines outline recommendations for breast health and cancer control in limited resource countries in four areas: Earl

Contact: Leslie Sullivan
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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