The participants are informed both orally and written about the general biobank and have signed a broad informed consent. Accrual of patients to the biobank and collection of material takes place at HUH and SUH and the samples are stored at the respective study site.
At the regional level, approximately 700 new breast cancer patients are diagnosed annually in western Norway. Of these, more than 500 belong to the catchment area of HUH and SUH (approx. 310 and 220 respectively). Women diagnosed with operable breast cancer (Stage I and II) at HUS and SUS are consecutively enrolled in the PBCB- project, i.e. agreed to be followed-up prospectively for 11 years. One unique population feature is that people who live in this catchment area rarely move or seek care elsewhere. Hence, a near-complete follow-up of patients is possible, which create population-based cohorts of highly committed patients. To illustrate, the drop-out rate is only 8% at SUH.