Audit on quality of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in Italy, 2008-2009.

Antonio Ponti, Mariano Tomatis, Diego Baiocchi, Alessandra Barca, Rosa Berti, Luigi Bisanti, Rita Bordon, Denise Casella, Carla Cogo, Silvia Deandrea, Daria Delrio, Giovanni Donati, Fabio Falcini, Alfonso Frigerio, Nico Leonardo, Silvia Mancini, Paola Mantellini, Carlo Naldoni, Giovanni Pagano, Alessandra RavaioliFrancesca Pietribiasi, Maria Laura Sedda, Mario Taffurelli, Manuel Zorzi, Luigi Cataliotti, Nereo Segnan, Maria Piera Mano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This survey, conducted by the Italian breast screening network (GISMa), collects individual data yearly on about 50% of all screen-detected, operated lesions in Italy. The 2008-2009 results show good overall quality of diagnosis and treatment and an improving trend over time. Critical issues were identified, including waiting times and compliance with the recommendations on not performing frozen section examination on small lesions. Pre-operative diagnosis reached the acceptable target, but there is a large variation between regions and programmes. For almost 90% of screen-detected invasive cancers the sentinel lymph node technique (SLN) was performed on the axilla, avoiding a large number of potentially harmful dissections. On the other hand, potential overuse of SLN deserves further investigation. The detailed results have been distributed, also by means of a web-based data warehouse, to regional and local screening programmes in order to allow multidisciplinary discussion and identification of the appropriate solutions to any problem documented by the data. Specialist breast units with adequate case volume and enough resources would provide the best setting for making audits effective in producing quality improvements with shorter waiting times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiologia e prevenzione
Issue number5-6 Suppl 5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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