Breast Cancer Quality Standards

Quality Standards

Breast Cancer

The Mercy Cancer Center takes great pride in the care we deliver.  To monitor the quality of that care, we track specific quality measures and compare them to benchmark measures.  We think consumers have the right to know this information so you can draw your own conclusions regarding your health care choices. 

Quality data can be confusing so Mercy Cancer Center is taking the initiative to publish this information in an understandable format.  We invite you to review this information and please call us if you have questions.  We are committed to providing the very highest quality cancer care.

Breast cancer quality data is the first to be published.  Please refer back to our web site in the coming months to see quality data for other cancer diagnoses.

Breast Cancer Quality Data
Mammography MQSA Certification

When you have a mammogram, you want to be confident that your healthcare facility is certified and meets the highest standards for personnel qualifications, equipment, radiation dose, quality assurance programs, recordkeeping and reporting.  Congress enacted the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) to ensure women have access to quality mammography services.  To become MQSA certified, mammography facilities must employ only registered mammography technologists and undergo a thorough annual inspection conducted by federally trained and certified State surveyors who review over 50 quality indicators. 

  Mercy National
% Annual Inspections with No
MQSA Violations 
100%* 76.4%
100% at all Mercy locations:  Main Campus, North Canton, Jackson, Louisville, Carrollton
5-Year Breast Cancer Survival Rate

Overall survival from breast cancer is the most important goal.  Survival is tied to the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis.  Five-year survival rate (the percentage of women who are still alive five years after diagnosis) is the standard measurement that is used to express the outlook for your disease.  The cancer stage - noted as a number from 0 to IV - is based on the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.  The lower the number, the less disease.  It is important to remember that these survival rates are based on averages. Some women with advanced breast cancer live significantly longer than seven years and researchers are constantly developing new treatment alternatives to prolong breast cancer survival.

  Mercy National
Combined Stage 0-II 87.4% 87.1%
Combined Stage III-IV 40.9% 42.9%
Combined All Stages 82.7% 82.3%
Source:  CIRF Cancer Registry Reported to National Cancer Database
Percentage of Early Stage Breast Cancer

Because disease stage at diagnosis significantly influences survival, it is critical to diagnose breast cancers as early as possible.  Mercy Cancer Center tracks the percentage of breast cancers diagnosed at Stage 0 through II which offer women the greatest advantage of long-term survival.

  Mercy National
% of Breast Cancers
Diagnosed at
Stage 0-II 
91.4% 83.2%
Source:  CIRF Cancer Registry Reported to National Cancer Database
Minimally Invasive Breast Biopsy

Minimally invasive breast biopsy involves taking a core of breast tissue rather than performing an incision to remove a breast tissue sample.  Research shows that conventional surgical biopsies present certain disadvantages including prolonged time to diagnosis, breast scarring, increased pain for the patient and substantially higher costs than the minimally invasive options.  It is important to note that not all breast lesions can be biopsied by minimally invasive techniques, but it is a biopsy technique that should be considered when appropriate.

  Mercy National
% of Minimally Invasive
Breast Biopsies
75.6% 65%
Source:  CIRF Cancer Registry Reported to National Cancer Database
Breast Conservation Surgery

The National Institutes of Health has recommended breast conservation surgery (lumpectomy) rather than mastectomy for the majority of women with early stage, invasive breast cancer.  Lumpectomy decreases the potential for adverse effects from surgery and minimizes physical alterations.  More importantly, studies have proven that long-term survival is no different.  Despite these facts, some women still opt for mastectomy.

  Mercy National
% Breast Conservation
Surgery
65.8% 65%
Source:   CIRF Cancer Registry and Oncology Roundtable Survey
Radiation Treatment with Breast Conservation Surgery

The purpose of breast conservation therapy is to give women the same cure rate they would have if they were treated with a mastectomy but to leave the breast intact, with an appearance and texture as close as possible to what they had before treatment. Breast conservation surgery (lumpectomy) is almost always followed by radiation therapy. The purpose of the radiation treatment is to decrease the recurrence of breast cancer in the remaining breast tissue.  Years of clinical study have proven that breast conservation therapy offers the same cure rate as mastectomy.

  Mercy National
% Patients with Breast Conserving
Surgery that Received Radiation
93.4% 85.0%
Source:  CIRF Cancer Registry and NCCN 9th Annual Conference

Other Measures of Quality

The mark of excellence can also be defined by other important quality indicators that are not demonstrated through statistics.  Mercy Cancer Center is committed to excellence in cancer care as evidenced by:

  • Three-year accreditation with accommodation as a Comprehensive Community Hospital Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer
  • Timely and accurate submission of all patient data to the National Cancer Data Base
  • Accreditation of Stereotactic Breast Biopsy Services by the American College of Radiology
  • Bi-weekly multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Conferences
  • Weekly multidisciplinary Tumor Conferences
  • Mercy Medical Center Medical Staff comprised of 94% Board Certified Physicians

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