The incidence of breast cancer in the Philippines is increasing. In 2005, breast cancer ranked 2nd to lung cancer as the most common cancer in the country. In 2010, the Philippine Cancer Society reported that breast cancer is now the leading cause of cancer in the country. It has overtaken lung cancer which for several decades has been the leading cause of cancer in our country. It is also the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths. The median survival among females is 60 months. Survival at the 5th year is 50.10% and 32.38% at the 10th year. In 2007, the 65 PSGS accredited training programs reported that a total of 2,749 patients underwent surgery for breast cancer. Of these 2,749 breast cancer patients, 2,632 (96%) underwent mastectomy and only 117 (4%) had breast conserving surgery. It is therefore imperative that we not only update our clinical practice guidelines but also institute breast cancer screening programs country wide to help us diagnose breast cancer in its earlier stages. Practice guidelines are systematically developed statements to assist practitioners and patients in making decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances. Attributes of good guidelines include validity, reliability, reproducibility, clinical applicability, clinical flexibility, clarity, multidisciplinary process, review of evidence and documentation. The authors acknowledge that guidelines do not dictate the management as each patient scenario is unique and clinical judgement should prevail. These guidelines should hopefully assist the physician in discussing all the relevant treatment options with the patient before she makes a truly informed decision about her treatment.
Key words: Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines for Early Breast Cancer