About us

History of Breast Physicians

In the 1990s, the development of the multidisciplinary breast team occurred. It was revolutionary in that it grouped clinicians (surgeon, radiologist, pathologist, nurse and oncologist) to focus on the area of breast disease. This was a huge advance from the disjointed, fragmented approach that had been previously offered to women. However, over time, the multidisciplinary breast team has further evolved to include the breast physician whose skills cross and bind the traditional disciplines and help the team function in an interactive and dynamic manner.

The evolution of the breast physician and the ongoing super-specialisation of the multidisciplinary breast team has occurred throughout many areas of medicine. Super-specialisation is a direct result of the huge technological advances, increased knowledge, the need for excellence, requirement for a multidisciplinary approach along with the application of safe clinical practices to a significant health problem. It provides a safer environment for both clinician and patient.

Breast physicians work in the vocational branch of Breast Medicine, which is a rapidly expanding area. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for women worldwide. Internationally the incidence of breast cancer is increasing. In the next two decades as the 'baby boomers' enter the 'at risk' age, figures are expected to increase dramatically.

Breast disease is one of the leading litigious areas of medicine in the western world. A 'missed' diagnosis of breast cancer that leads to delay in treatment can have devastating consequences for all concerned.

When a woman develops a new breast symptom or is diagnosed with a mammographic abnormality there is frequently concurrent high levels of anxiety and concern about the implications.

The vast majority of women who present in this way will have benign disease; these women require diagnosis in the most efficient and empathetic manner both for the clinical concern as well as to ensure their continuance in a breast surveillance program.

Much time needed in reaching the diagnosis is in discussion with the woman such that her confidence and consent is obtained and she understands the process, options and treatment. It is essential that the woman feels in total control of the situation. For the women diagnosed with breast cancer even greater time is required.

The breast physician has an understanding of all the disciplines and processes involved in the diagnosis, management and treatment of breast disease.

The breast physician can expedite and facilitate the diagnosis as well as support women through the process. The support of the woman goes beyond an emotional one as it encompasses a dissemination of knowledge and understanding of the total process, which importantly can give back control.

About the Australasian Society of Breast Physicians (ASBP)

Founded in 1990 by non specialist doctors working in the management of breast disease, the Society evolved to support the professional role and status of these clinicians who came to be known as ‘breast physicians’.

Initially known as the Australian Society of Breast Physicians, a change of name in 1998 reflected the participation in the Society of New Zealand doctors practising in this field.

The Society has two levels of membership. These reflect the Breast Physician’s experience in this special interest area. The levels are:

What are the current objectives of the Society?

The Society is currently working on achieving formal recognition as a Special Interest group. Projects being undertaken to work towards this goal include:

ASBP Constitution

Constitution Constitution (647 KB)

Supporting our Society

The ASBP welcomes your input. Whether you are a current member, thinking of becoming a member, or you are someone working in the area of breast diagnosis and treatment, we value your ideas.

Please contact any of the members of the Executive and let us know your thoughts on any issues related to Breast Physicians.