Background: The National Breast Cancer Audit (NBCA) of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons has collected data on early breast cancer since 1998. In this project, deaths were traced by linkage of NBCA patient identifiers (first three digits of surname and date of birth) with the National Death Index that covers all deaths in Australia.Methods: Death data were traced to 31 December 2007. Invasive cancers diagnosed in 1998-2005 were included in survival analyses to allow enough follow-up for assessment. Survivals were compared with survivals for similar stages recorded by the New South Wales (NSW) Cancer Registry and USA Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) programme. Survivals were analysed by conventional clinical risk factors to see if expected differences presented.Results: The 5-year survival from breast cancer of 93% for NBCA cases was the same as the SEER figure for local and regional cases combined in 1996-2004. The NBCA figure for localized cases was 97%, which was the same as for NSW. Node-positive NBCA cancers had a 5-year survival of 89%, which was slightly higher than the corresponding 86% for NSW, which may reflect exclusion from the NBCA of some cases with a poorer prognosis, including those with positive fixed nodes. As expected, lower survivals presented for older cases and those with conventional clinical risk factors.Conclusions: These survivals are credible both overall and by clinical risk factor. Opportunities present to use these data for survival monitoring and to investigate survival by socio-demographic characteristic, treatment protocol, case volume and provider characteristics.
- Breast cancer
- Practice monitoring