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RTP4000 - Principles of oncology for the breast

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader(s): Caroline Wright


Clayton First semester 2009 (Off-campus)


This unit builds on the prior knowledge of the health care professional with respect to anatomy, physiology and pathology of the breast, exploring these in detail with a particular emphasis on lymphatics of the region. It also covers oncological aspects of breast cancer and the factors associated with selection of the appropriate treatment, depending on the grade and stage of the disease and the patient history. Patient care and psychological effects of a diagnosis of breast cancer are also introduced and students are expected to reflect on their experiences relating these to current literature for all aspects of the unit.


By the end of the unit students will be able to critically;

  1. Describe in detail the anatomy and patho-physiology and of the breast;
  2. Discuss the epidemiological and aetiological factors associated with cancer of the breast;
  3. Appraise the procedures and techniques that are used to confirm a breast cancer diagnosis;
  4. Analyse the factors which affect the choice of management strategy for tumours arising in the breast;
  5. Describe the role of radiation therapy, cytotoxic chemotherapy, surgery and hormone therapy in the management of patients with breast cancer;
  6. Evaluate the psycho-social issues that patients with breast cancer may experience and describe the support systems available to them; and
  7. Discuss the role of the multi-disciplinary team in relation to the care of patients with breast cancer.


Exam (40%)
Literature Review (1500 words)(30%)
Solar Clinical Action Plan and Comparative Report (1500 words)(30%)

Contact hours

12 hours per week (off-campus)



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