The association of breast surgery ASPIRE: breast pain pathway rapid evaluation project - study protocol

Thomas J E Hubbard, Anna T Isaac, Alice Cui, Ramsey I Cutress, Rajiv Dave, Katy Ellis, Jo Fields, Suzanne Halliday, Jennifer Hu, Shelley Potter, Leena Chagla, Karina Cox, Christopher Holcombe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


BACKGROUND: Breast pain accounts for 20-40% of new referrals to breast units in the UK and these patients have a very low risk of breast cancer. Patients have previously been assessed in resource-intensive, cancer-exclusion, one stop clinics, which are now failing to meet government targets due to excessive demand. UK Breast units are increasingly piloting Breast Pain-only Pathways (BPP) to assess these patients, and there is no consensus for the optimal pathway. The aim of this prospective multicentre study is to assess the safety and patient satisfaction of different BPPs to inform future BPP design and implementation.

METHODS: All UK breast units will be invited to join the ASPIRE study between January 2023 and December 2023. Units with a BPP are invited to submit their pathway for evaluation; and those without a BPP who see patients with breast pain-only in a one stop clinics setting are also invited to join the study to evaluate the traditional pathway model concurrently. Patient satisfaction assessments will be collected after their initial consultation and patient outcomes, including subsequent cancer diagnosis, will be followed up at 12 months to determine if they have cancer diagnosis after discharge to assess pathway safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Protocols
Issue number1
Early online date15 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


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