European Cancer Organisation

European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer

European Commission

The ECIBC project is coordinated by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). The JRC is the European Commission’s in-house science service and provides an inclusive and transparent platform for engaging all stakeholders in the ECIBC. The JRC is independent of any national, commercial and private interests.

Why this initiative

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Europe: It killed 92 000 women in the EU in 2013, according to EUROSTAT data. In addition, incidence and mortality rates for breast cancer range widely across countries: higher mortality rate in some countries may be due to higher incidence rate, but in others, it is the lower survival rate the main cause of that mortality. This reflects major inequalities also due to diverse quality of care. Hence, there is considerable potential to reduce the burden of cancer and inequalities at European level with a coordinated action to ensure that for all breast cancer care processes (screening, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, survivorship care, palliative care) the quality is based on evidence and granted to all citizens and patients: the ECIBC works towards this ambitious but crucial goal.


The 4 specific objectives under development of the project are:

  • evidence-based recommendations - a new version of the European Guidelines for Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis (the European Breast Guidelines);
  • a Platform of guidelines covering all care processes, from screening to end-of-life care;
  • a voluntary European Quality Assurance Scheme for Breast Cancer Services (the European QA scheme);
  • a European training model on digital mammography for screening.



  • The European Breast Guidelines – 2018.
  • The piloting of the European QA scheme – 2018.
  • The web-based platform for breast cancer care guidelines – 2017.
  • The Digital Mammography Training model -2017.



A transparent process involving evidence grading, experts opinion, patients inclusion, and countries’ delegates and stakeholders involvement is applied. The ECIBC is supported by two working groups composed by medical doctors, researchers, and patients  who joined the project on a voluntary basis. The documents developed are subject of open calls for feedback launched online and made public once approved on this website. In addition, countries have a special role in providing inputs to ensure that what is being developed is feasible and can be implemented, hence impacting on quality of care and, possibly, outcomes.

For further details please visit

PRINT THIS PAGE Page last modified: