Recruiting both the highest quality and most committed representatives from as many countries as possible, particularly low and middle income countries, will continue to ensure the success of the NCBC International Delegate Program. The NCBC, therefore, invites its entire membership and partners to email to the NCBC International Liaison Committee via, prior to December 15, 2015, the names and contact information (including email) of any worthy international candidates who will agree to share their experiences, expertise and explore possible joint solutions with the NCBC to improve international breast care.


John Keyserlingk, MD, MSc, FRCS, FACS
Chair, NCBC International Liaison Committee
Surgical Oncologist & Medical Director, VM Breast and Oncology Center,
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The “State of Oncology 2013” report by the International Prevention Research Institute [IPRI], published earlier this year, warned that the global number of new cancer cases that had doubled over the last 25 years is set to double again by 2030. By that time, the annual death toll would reach 17 million with the vast majority coming from low- and middle-income countries  primarily due to  absent, or delayed access to, breast cancer care.

Low-resource countries (national income per capita of less than $765) are unable to provide their breast cancer patients with any life-extending therapies, let alone any early diagnostic strategies, thus causing devastating damage. Middle-resource countries (national income per capita of less than $9,300) also require support as they are often overlooked as potential international providers from high-income areas increasingly prefer to limit their funding to low-income countries.

While in resource-rich countries, two out of every five patients diagnosed with breast cancer could die prematurely, this can rise to nine out of ten people in resource-poor countries, mainly due to patients presenting when cure is already impossible and palliation would be required, but is not available. Concurrently, the case fatality rate for breast cancer in high-income countries is 23.9% versus 56.3% in low-income countries.

To further widen the gap, the population in lower income countries is not only growing faster than developed countries, but is also aging rapidly. Best estimates are that by 2050, the population of Nigeria will have overtaken that of the United States and the combined population of India, China and Nigeria will be 3.4 billion, approximately one-third of the global population.

Breast cancer care in these countries can only begin to be upgraded by urgently accelerating training and by increasing the number of multi-disciplinary health professionals, including surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, oncologists, radiotherapists, nurses, technologists and all other medical, paramedical and technical personnel.

The following four priorities were listed in the IPRI report:

Prevent all breast cancers that can be prevented.
Treat all breast cancers that can be treated.
Cure all breast cancers that can be cured.
Provide palliation whenever palliation is required.

The IPRI report also emphasized that improving access to better breast cancer management in developing countries will be a daunting task. This endeavor will require, in addition to major funding, committed partnerships among medical organizations, foundations, pharmaceutical and technology companies.

The NCBC has long been recognized as the premier organization promoting truly interdisciplinary care as both the ultimate and the essential model to optimize breast cancer prevention, detection, management, and rehabilitation. NCBC, with over 1,000 individual members and approximately 450 breast center members, now stands ready to respond to this urgent international appeal by sharing its collective expertise with its international colleagues still facing often insurmountable obstacles.

In order to clarify the different levels of international membership, we have developed the following definitions.

  1. An NCBC International Member is an already active and paid member of the NCBC who resides outside of the USA and Canada
  2. An NCBC International Delegate is actively involved with breast care delivery outside of the USA and Canada, and has been proposed to, and accepted by, the International Liaison Committee to serve as an NCBC International Delegate (ID). In recognition for accepting the ID mandate, primarily to increase the NCBC membership’s awareness of international breast cancer care (see below), they will receive a complementary two-year NCBC membership, and also become eligible to compete for one of the 6 funding awards to attend the 25thAnnual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference in Las Vegas, March 14-18, 2015 as a Sponsored International Delegate (SID).Two of these six SIDs will also receive additional funding for a 2-4 week NCBC Mini-Fellowship at one of the NCBC participating North American Multi-Disciplinary Breast Centers before participating in the annual conference in Las Vegas (see more details below).
  3. A Sponsored NCBC International Delegate has competed and been selected for one of the four NCBC Conference Awards providing funding to attend the 25thAnnual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference, or for one of the two Combined NCBC Mini-Fellowship & Conference Awards. Sponsored International Delegates will have certain additional responsibilities (see below), including presenting their successful proposal as a poster during the annual conference, helping the NCBC to raise further funding to sustain this program for future IDs and primarily helping to improve breast care where it is most needed.

The purpose of this International Delegate Program is to promote awareness and explore feasible solutions to global breast care challenges. The following three-part mission, approved by the NCBC Board of Trustees, is sequential.

  • Promote Awareness within the NCBC Membership of Breast Care Challenges in Underserved Countries.International Delegates will be given the mandate to describe vis-à-vis various formats [e.g., NCBC newsletter and conference] the increasing breast care challenges, obstacles and potential solutions experienced by the international community particularly, but not exclusively, in low- and middle-income countries. These venues would offer NCBC members a unique, first-hand “grass roots in the trenches” window on the tangible problems in the international community. This cross-pollination between the membership and delegates would promote optimal awareness.
  • Share and Export NCBC Programs and Expertise.Among the NCBC educational initiatives that could have an impact in countries where access to best breast care is compromised are the following.
  • Patient Navigation Breast Self-Examination
  • Clinical Breast Examination Training;
    Select Quality Metrics: e.g.: National Quality Measures for Breast Centers (NQMBC)
  • Breast Center Development Programs plus Newsletter and Web Resources

Any of these initiatives or other NCBC-related expertise that are deemed by the International Delegates as pertinent and applicable to their international community can then be transferred, with NCBC’s assistance, to those countries for accelerated implementation

Seek External Funding. The numerous external sources of funding and other support will be critical. Depending on the source, each will donate knowledge, expertise, training, educational materials, medicines, and/or technology in order to provide the necessary progress with the shortest delay. It is understood that the International Delegates would agree to assist NCBC in its current fund drive to intercede with those agencies and organizations in their home countries with stated priorities to improve global breast care. This process is intended to sustain and enhance a fertile exchange of ideas and realistic solutions.

The entire NCBC membership and partners are vigorously invited and encouraged to propose new International Delegates from any country other than the US and Canada, including from those countries that already have designated or proposed NCBC International Delegates such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Ghana, India, Jordan, Kosovo, Oman, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, and Venezuela. The NCBC is interested in recruiting International Delegates from as many countries as possible, with special emphasis given to those Delegates from low- and middle-income countries where its involvement could expect to have the greatest positive impact on the rapidly increasing international breast cancer burden. Delegates from developed countries would be recruited to provide viable solutions.

  • Who is eligible to become an NCBC International Delegate?Proposed candidates for Delegate status could be physicians, nurses, technologists, administrators, educators, researchers, government regulators, etc., and should be proposed by the NCBC membership or partners and selected by the International Liaison Committee based on their specific expertise and commitment to optimize breast cancer care in their respective countries. Their involvement could be in clinical care, education and/or breast care policy design and implementation, etc. They must also be willing to share their breast care experiences, obstacles and successes with the entire NCBC Membership and partners. Crucial information regarding possible International Delegate candidates, including their name and contact information (email) and how they are involved with breast care, should be sent to ASAP, or prior to December 15, 2015, so these proposals may be reviewed by the International Liaison Committee for approval, followed by an invitation to join the current list of NCBC International Delegates. Details are discussed below.
  • Benefits of being an NCBC International Delegate.All selected delegates will be offered a 2-year free NCBC membership and encouraged to attend the 25th Annual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference in Las Vegas, March 14-18, 2015. They will also be eligible to compete for one of four NCBC 2015 International Delegate Annual Conference Awards. These awards, with a maximum amount of $4400, are supported by a limited and targeted international stimulus fund, and will cover airfare, ground expenses, full conference registration, and room and board at the host hotel (Paris) for the duration of the 2015 conference. In addition, NCBC International Delegates are also eligible to compete for one of the two Combined NCBC Mini-Fellowship & Conference Awards which will provide, in addition to the above-described Annual Conference Awards, supplementary  funding, with a maximum of $3,780, to cover room & board and an additional flight for the 2 to 4 weeks Mini-Fellowship at a participating NCBC Multi-Disciplinary Breast Center. Preference will be given to delegates from low- and middle-income countries and/or any Delegate who could not otherwise afford to attend the conference or participate in a mini-fellowship. NCBC members and partners wishing to propose an International Delegate, who could then compete for one of these six awards, need to send in the names and contact information (including email) of their candidate to Wendy Anderson at by December 15th Thus, their candidate can be both evaluated and accepted as a delegate, and also provide the Delegate with sufficient time to submit their conference funding proposal by the January 2, 2015 due date.
  • Competitive Process.Those Delegates wishing to compete for one of the four NCBC Annual Conference Awards, or for one of the two NCBC Combined Mini-Fellowship & Conference Awards, will be requested to submit a 500 to 1,000-word proposal to at the NCBC office by January 2, 2015.

The written proposal from competing Delegates should include the following:

  • Describe their professional status and their country of origin.
  • Outline their current practice, goals, challenges, successes and any other pertinent breast cancer related-information.
  • Describe their plans to resolve specific obstacles that currently impede optimal access for patients to best possible breast care.
  • Explain how accessing the NCBC membership expertise and programs, as well as winning either one of the four Annual Conference Awards, or one of the two Combined NCBC Mini-Fellowship & Conference Awards, could potentially help attain their stated goals.

As conference registration is complementary, and set stipends will be provided for ground fare and room and board during the conference and/or the mini-fellowship, competing delegates must indicate if they have access to any other funding for air travel, as well as indicate the cost of the best available return airfare to determine what portion of the determined maximum allotment for flights would be required to attend the 25th Annual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference and, if pertinent, to participate in the 2-4 week mini-fellowship on the way to the annual conference (see below).

  • Selection Process. The competing Delegate proposals will be evaluated by the International Liaison Committee(1) [ILC]. The selection process will be based on an objective grading scale that includes the International Delegate’s country of origin, challenges and/or solutions, possible involvement with breast care policies and delivery and the ability and interest in sharing this information with the entire NCBC membership. These proposals may also be selected by the NCBC Newsletter Editorial Board for publication to enhance NCBC membership awareness of breast care obstacles in underserved countries. The six successful recipients, who become Sponsored NCBC International Delegates, will be informed by January 9th, 2015 in order to provide sufficient time for travel arrangements. Competing Delegates who anticipate possible visa-related problems should advise Wendy Anderson, the NCBC International Liaison Committee Coordinator, by email [] as soon as possible so that these issues can be addressed well in advance should the candidate be awarded funding.
  • Sponsored NCBC International Delegate Responsibilities and Rewards.The four 2015 Annual Conference Award recipients and the two Combined Mini-Fellowship & Conference Award recipients will be expected to submit a Conference Poster describing the challenges and solutions to improve breast care in their respective countries. They will be briefly introduced to the entire NCBC Board of Trustees at its annual meeting, Friday evening, March, 13, 2015. The six award recipients will also participate in a verbal presentation of their poster during the annual Conference to either the NCBC Board, conference attendees or both.

Arrangements will also be made to facilitate International Delegate networking during the conference with NCBC members who would be interested in themselves getting involved with international breast care. Special meetings will also be set up to introduce the delegates to on-site foundations, industry, and pharmaceutical representatives to discuss, explore and help the NCBC secure funding for future International Delegate Awards to facilitate solutions in those countries where improving breast care is most urgent.


As an additional academic and training incentive for the NCBC International Delegates, the NCBC is launching this year its new Combined Mini-Fellowship and Conference Program that will coincide with the 25th Annual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference from March 14-18, 2015.

This second international award would provide targeted funding for two additional NCBC Delegates to spend 2-4 weeks as a Visiting NCBC International Delegate/Fellow at one of the four participating NCBC Breast Centers (see below) of their choice prior to proceeding on to the 25th Annual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference in Las Vegas, alongside the four 2015 Annual Conference Awards recipients.

While some of our International Delegates will choose to compete only for the Annual Conference Award offered last year, some others will prefer to also compete for one of the two Combined Mini-Fellowship & Conference Awards. Competing for the combined award does not exclude them from being awarded a conference award should they not succeed to win a mini-fellowship award. The outcome of this competitive process is based on the quality of their proposals. The successful delegates for this new award will have a unique 2 to 4 week unencumbered opportunity to join the local multi-disciplinary team and witness and/or master pertinent technologies and techniques in prevention, early breast cancer detection, diagnostic and treatment, survivorship, etc., some of which they could potentially export to and implement in their respective countries. The NCBC and the respective participating Breast Centers will provide as much administrative support as possible to facilitate Visas and other paperwork, and to keep the costs at a reasonable level. Once completed, the Combined Mini-Fellowship & Conference Award recipients will travel to Las Vegas and join the 4 Annual Conference Award winners for the 25th Annual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference.

The following four NCBC North American Multi-Disciplinary Breast Centers are participating in the Combined NCBC Mini-Fellowship & Conference Awards Program:

1-The Breast Center of Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville, AK

2-Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA

3-Women & Infants’ Hospital, Providence, RI

4- Ville Marie Medical and Oncology Center, Montreal, Canada

By setting the mission and promoting these different initiatives, the NCBC has made a significant, tangible and possibly unique commitment to increasing its membership’s awareness of the numerous challenges involved with global breast care, and to explore how the extensive NCBC expertise could help resolve them.

International Liaison Committee: Dr. John Keyserlingk, Chair

Dr. Yuri Parisky, Dr. Ernie Bodai, Dr. Sangeeta Sandhu,

Dr. Tarek Hilal, Dr. Michael Thirwell, Dr. Jay Parikh,

Dr. Don Dizon, Dr. Kevin Pope, Dr. Everick Ayala-Bustamante,

Robin Hayden and Jill Schultz

A few current NCBC International Delegates:

After completing his Radiation Oncology training in Canada, Dr. Zahid Al-Mandari took over the Division of Breast Radiotherapy at the Royal Hospital in Muscat. He is actively involved with initiating a major breast cancer screening program for Oman. In accepting to serve as an Omani NCBC International Delegate, Dr. Al-Mandhari stated: “It would be an honor to join such a Consortium with noble aims.  I am sure it will be beneficial to both the Consortium and to breast cancer patients. It will also be an eye opener on different challenges the various countries are facing, and an opportunity to share the innovative ideas to try and tackle these challenges.”

Dr. Kausik Chatterjee completed his residency in Nuclear Medicine at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, and then moved to Central India where he introduced Radioisotope Mammography and runs the only PET-CT unit in the entire area.  He has been advocating usage of the gamma probe for sentinel lymph node detection in breast cancer and has applied for Government funds to buy the necessary instrument for his Oncology department. When offered to become an NCBC International Delegate, he replied: “Thank you very much for offering me the complimentary membership in the National Consortium of Breast Centers in North America, and accepting me in the advisory role. I feel deeply honored.  I believe that the NCBC financial support would be of immense help for your overseas members who look forward to both share their experience as well as learn from the very esteemed members of your organization. I can speak for myself that I very much appreciated an opportunity to attend the annual conference and share my experience. I look forward to gaining experience with your oncology protocols for different cancer patients, and have some hands-on training with the experts in Nuclear Medicine and PET-CT.

Dr. Hannah Simonds has been both a clinical and radiation oncologist at the Groote Schuur hospital, and part of the faculty of the University of Cape Town. Involved with breast cancer detection, treatment and management, she has been particularly interested in providing input regarding breast care policies for South Africa. These include finding reasonable and pertinent adjuvant breast cancer treatment taking into consideration costs, limited resources and variable rural traditions. Dr. Simonds? Hannah is now taking over a new 1-2-year breast oncology mandate in Ghana. She will provide our NCBC membership with an “in the trenches” view of African Breast Care in both countries.

Dr. Elvis Ahmedi is both a member of the NCBC and the NCBC International Delegate from Kosovo. As a surgical oncologist, he has extensive interest in breast cancer management, including oncoplastic surgery. He is a founding member of the Balkans Breast Cancer Initiative, a Coordinator of the Mammography Teaching and the Donation Project to Kosovo, Honorary Member of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, and a leader in initiating breast cancer screening in his country. He had been twice a participant in the International Visitor Leadership Program on the topic of “Breast Cancer Awareness,” held in Washington D.C. and other U.S. cities. He is currently the Kosovo State Coordinator on Cancer Control and Head of Kosovo National Board for Cancer Control.  Dr. Ahmedi stated: “I am honored to join your committee. Information exchange is crucial in promoting best breast care, especially in resource-limited countries, and I am very happy to hear that Dr. Bodai is involved in NCBC ILC.”

Dr. Deborah Pfeiffer, MD, FASBP is a breast physician, Secretary of the Australasian Society of Breast Physicians and Medical Director of the public Breast Screen Queensland Sunshine Coast Service.  This service screens over 30,000 women a year at six permanent sites, plus one mobile van.  It performs over 2,000 diagnostic assessments per year with digital mammography, ultrasound and percutaneous biopsy within a multidisciplinary team environment comprising breast physicians, radiologists, surgeons, pathologists, radiographers, sonographers, and nurse counselors. Women diagnosed with breast cancer are referred externally for definitive treatment. MRI is not currently performed within the program.

Dr. Hilda Fernandes is Professor and Head of Pathology, and Dr. Clement R S D’Souza is a Professor of Surgery at the Fr. Muller Medical College in Mangalore, a major Medical School complex in India. She has a particular interest in Breast histopathology and immunohistochemistry and has extensively published on the importance of Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology which she introduced into her clinical setting. Dr. D’Souza has been actively involved in breast cancer care for the last 20 years, including post-graduate training, particularly in oncosurgical techniques and breast cancer comprehensive management. Both are involved with setting up breast health awareness camps in rural Indian communities to promote early detection.

Following are the letters from the six NCBC International Delegates who successfully competed for the 2014 NCBC Conference Awards documenting their positive experience  from attending the annual NCBC Multidisciplinary Conference last year.

Letters from 2014 award winners


Don’t miss out on this BIG event! NCoBC’s 25th Anniversary Conference!

You are invited to submit an abstract for the NCoBC’s 25th Annual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference to be held March 14-18, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  This is an opportunity to share your research, clinical studies, quality programs and special initiatives with hundreds of other breast health professionals from around the world.

This conference offers a unique environment to interact with dedicated professionals in breast care, including physicians, nurses, radiology technologists, administrators and other allied health professionals, both as internationally recognized leaders in their respective fields and those in the front lines.

The Sunday evening Poster Reception is a premier venue in which submitters communicate their unique information with attendees. Be prepared to communicate your abstract details to breast healthcare professionals from around the world.  Keep in touch with those who visit your poster display and learn how your abstract made a difference through those you empowered to improve their care to patients.

One author from each of the two major categories and the Fellow/Resident/Student award recipient will be invited to present their abstract orally during the oral poster presentation on Sunday, March 15, 2015. Oral presenters will be chosen from abstracts submitted by January 16, 2015.  Category oral presenters will be awarded a monetary gift of $100. The Fellow/Resident/Student Award recipient will receive a monetary gift of

$200 and complimentary registration to the conference. To participate, email your abstract (not the poster) and the Abstract Application to the NCBC office at by the due date, January 16, 2015.  Faxed abstracts cannot be accepted.  Visit for more details.


Maintain your Membership Benefits for 2015!

It’s that time of year again - time to renew your membership with the NCBC for 2015. Renewing your membership with the NCBC is an investment in your career, in your breast center and especially in the health and welfare of your patients.

Independent and Facility Member Benefits

Professional education, communication and collegial sharing among breast health care professionals are paramount to NCBC.  All membership benefits have been developed to help facilitate networking with fellow breast professionals from around the country.  The multidisciplinary membership allows for the exchanges of information regarding all aspects of administering and delivering patient care.

Here is a list of all the membership benefits you will receive with your membership

  • The Monthly Breast Center Bulletin newsletter
  • Ability to take advantage of Publication opportunities
  • Attending the National Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference at a member rate and earn up to 24.75 credits
  • Access to breast health care professionals across the nation and throughout the world
  • Access to Breast Center Job Postings and descriptions
  • Next level Certifications for Navigator, CBE and BSE

Additional Facility Member Benefits are

  • The Breast Center of Excellence Certification through NQMBC
  • Access to the NQMBC Program
  • National Quality Data Collection for Participating member facility
  • Appear in our National Directory of Breast Centers
  • Facility Members receive a 10% discount off registration to the NCoBC Annual Breast Center Conference for up to 5 staff members when you register early.

NCBC members have stated that as the result of the NCBC services and educational opportunities, they have been able to enhance care to patients, increase the breast center’s efficiency, and implemented cost effective measures. In today’s healthcare environment, these benefits are important to the breast center’s economic health.

The NCBC Membership Manager is available to assist you with any questions you may have as well as record comments and suggestions about potential new NCBC services members would like implemented. As a member, we trust you value the benefits of NCBC membership and plan to continue receiving those benefits by renewing your membership. Easy and cost effective online membership renewal is available! For questions regarding renewing your membership call Wendy Anderson, Membership Manager at 574-267-8058, visit or contact the NCBC via email at