Next Generation Comprehensive Breast Centers Of Excellence

5/4/2010, ACI

Americans older than 65 years are expected to double from 40 million in 2010 to 80 million in 2040. This will lead to a large increase in breast cancer among American women. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States and the leading single cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55. According to the American Cancer Society, nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every 3 minutes and a death from breast cancer every 14 minutes.

Virtually all hospitals have a breast program of some type. What we need are state-of-the-art comprehensive breast centers, within a hospital setting or free standing, which would specialize in breast health and breast cancer. Hospitals will need to get prepared for the expected increase in patient volume. This will be a direct result of increasing number of women being diagnosed with cancer- since baby boomers are now in mid-life. Hospital executives will also need to focus on promotion of clinical trials enrollment so they can create better treatments and develop true prevention. Survivorship care and cancer paradigm shift are two important key elements and will be a part of this conference (There will not be enough oncology specialists to take care of breast cancer survivors within the next few years – sadly the time line is short - creating survivorship care programs must become part of a breast centers program development). 

Due to the recent advances in technology, shrinking reimbursements, and increasing number of baby-boomers, most hospitals, physicians and healthcare facilities are starting to see the benefits of defining themselves by centers of excellence and are willing to invest in comprehensive breast programs. It is imperative for hospitals to develop the planning and investment strategy to succeed in this highly competitive field and capture the consumer market.