Re: Breast cancer—Authors respond

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 50 , No. 6 , July August 2008 , Pages 294 Letters

Dr Gordon in her letter correctly highlights that the guidelines published in our recent article in the BCMJ are out of date. 

When we submitted the manuscript we appended the guidelines as they were at the time of the data capture as that seemed appropriate, but we stand corrected that current information may be more helpful for the readership. The BCCA guidelines were up­dated last year; it was anticipated that they would be electronically available a number of months ago but due to complexities were not. 

The revised and approved new guidelines will be mounted electronically this month and will have the updated information as documented by Dr Gordon. What concerned us and prompted the research study, however, was that the existing guidelines were not being followed, let alone tougher guidelines including the current BCCA guidelines or international standards. 

Our research study emphasized what is happening with breast cancer screening and diagnosis in BC. Although in the past there was controversy over the impact of screening mammography, population studies showing an improvement in survival due to early diagnosis from screening should close the argument. 

We need the medical community to clearly and unambiguously advise women to participate and we need to increase attendance at the SMPBC. As well, despite improvements in diagnosis, many women are not getting the proper investigations done in a clear and timely fashion. 

Highlighting the need for specialized imaging and prompt core biopsies of the suspicious lesions as documented by both Dr Gordon and our new guidelines are of great importance. We thank Dr Gordon for drawing attention to the updated guidelines.

Early diagnosis does make a difference, and in BC we should be doing better if we want to improve outcomes. With our SMPBC program and our dedicated imaging experts we can achieve this.

—Karen A Gelmon, MD
Vancouver
—Barbara Poole, MPA
Vancouver

Karen A. Gelmon, MD, FRCPC, Barbara Poole Lane, MPA. Re: Breast cancer—Authors respond. BCMJ, Vol. 50, No. 6, July, August, 2008, Page(s) 294 - Letters.



Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

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