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NAPBC Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers?

The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers represents a consortium of national, professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and monitoring of outcomes of patients with breast cancer and other breast diseases.

The NAPBC is administered by the American College of Surgeons, the professional organization that sets standards of care for surgical patients, and its board includes 17 representatives from specialty societies and professional organizations involved in the care of breast cancer and breast disease, including radiation oncology, medical oncology, genetics, social work, and nursing.

2. Why was the NAPBC created?

As breast cancer care continues to advance and become more specialized, it became clear that there is a need for a national program to identify and recognize breast centers in the United States. The NAPBC sets criteria for breast centers and monitors compliance with these standards. This is the first and only national accreditation program for breast cancer care.

3. Why should I seek care from an NAPBC recognized breast center, like the Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health at Virginia Hospital Center?

When seeking care at an NAPBC recognized breast center, patients can be assured that their care meets the highest standards for quality. NAPBC recognized centers are among the leading organizations in their field and have demonstrated a commitment to quality care. They also understand the importance of providing a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of breast disease, giving patients comprehensive care in a single setting.

4. How does a breast center become accredited?

Each NAPBC accredited breast center undergoes a rigorous process of screening, site visits, and ongoing review. They have each been reviewed to ensure that they meet high standards for the following 17 key components of quality care for breast disease:

  • Interdisciplinary conference
  • Data management
  • Patient navigator
  • Survivorship program
  • Pathology
  • Imaging
  • Needle biopsy (core preferred)
  • Surgical care
  • Radiation oncology consultation/treatment
  • Medical oncology consultation/treatment
  • Nursing
  • Genetic evaluation and management
  • Education, support, and rehabilitation
  • Plastic Surgery consultation/treatment
  • Research
  • Outreach and education
  • Quality improvement

These centers voluntarily enter into an agreement to maintain their high level of clinical care with re-certification required every three years.

5. What kind of care can I expect at an NAPBC accredited breast center?

At an NAPBC accredited breast center, patients can expect:

  • Comprehensive care including a complete range of state-of-the-art services and equipment
  • A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best available treatment options
  • Information about ongoing cancer clinical trials and new treatment options
  • Access to prevention and early detection programs, cancer education, and support services
  • Ongoing monitoring and improvements in cancer care

"These centers have passed a rigorous test," says David Winchester, MD, Medical Director, Cancer Programs, American College of Surgeons and Chair, NAPBC. "Any patient should be comfortable and confident about seeking breast cancer care from them."

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