Breast Cancer Services

European women’s probability of developing breast cancer over a lifetime is approximately 1 in 8, depending on factors, including age, family history, reproductive history (such as menstrual and childbearing history), race/ethnicity, and others. To improve the quality of breast cancer services in Europe, ECIBC (European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer) develops an European quality assurance scheme for breast cancer services supported by accreditation and referring to high-quality, evidence-based guidelines.

ECIBC is a patient-centred initiative aiming to improve and harmonize breast cancer care in Europe with the aim of contributing to reduce the burden of cancer and decreasing the avoidable differences in breast cancer incidence, prevalence, mortality and survival.

EA has signed an agreement with the European Commission, represented by the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The JRC is currently developing a European quality assurance scheme for breast cancer services underpinned by Regulation (EC) 765/2008 on accreditation, and to which EA is actively contributing.

The European QA scheme is a collection of requirements and indicators. Its implementation guarantees that compliant breast cancer services can offer users (women, patients and carers) top-quality and the most up-to-date procedures for breast cancer screening and care.

The requirements focus on the person’s needs and are based on the most up-to-date evidence-based guidelines.

This scheme describes in detail the interventions and services covered, the quality dimensions and future implementation according to the European legislation for accreditation. After it has been piloted, the European QA scheme will be available to all interested breast cancer services (hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres, etc.) worldwide.

The ECIBC Concept Document has been updated and has now been published. The document describes ECIBC’s background, general goal, specific objectives and expected benefits and includes information on on-going activities.

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