Letter: Best hospitals for breast cancer

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The Independent Online
Sir: I must correct one seriously misleading statement in your story about the recently published breast cancer guideline (13 August).

The incorrect statement was that outcomes are better when women are treated at hospitals with throughputs of 1,000 breast cancer patients per year. In fact, there is no evidence that treatment in large hospitals leads to better outcomes, although women managed by surgeons who treat fewer than 30 cases per year have been shown to fare worse. The new recommendations suggest that each specialist breast cancer team should manage at least 100 new cases per year. The figure in your article was ten times higher than it should have been.

Dr ARABELLA MELVILLE

Kirk Hammerton,

North Yorkshire

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