Project ECHO on breast cancer control

Population ageing will have consequences for cancer control globally as cancer is more prevalent in older adults. 

An older white woman smiling at her daughter as they hold hands

Building on its engagement in the field of breast cancer to date, UICC led a Project ECHO ® course on breast cancer, delivered in partnership with the NCI Center for Global Health and the Breast Health Global Initiative.

Project ECHO is a web-based tele-mentoring programme that enables best practice sharing through combined case-based and didactic learning.

The course provided training to cancer organisations in a virtual manner over a period of six months, strengthening their knowledge of breast cancer control and supporting the implementation of effective breast cancer control policies and programmes with the Breast Cancer Knowledge Summaries acting as a foundation for the course.

The Project ECHO for Knowledge Summaries for Comprehensive Breast Cancer Control increased participating organisations' capacity to develop and implement strong breast cancer control policies and programmes, with the objective of improving breast cancer outcomes in less-resourced settings. Participants of this Project ECHO:

  • gained knowledge on how to apply the planning steps in the Knowledge Summaries;
  • reflected in teams to refine their activities and strategy in support of improved breast cancer patients outcomes;
  • are in a position to deliver stronger breast cancer control policies and programmes in accordance with their setting;
  • had access to breast cancer experts to provide individual feedback on questions and challenges brought to them;
  • networked and shared best practices with peers around the world as part of the Project ECHO cohort;
  • gained exposure by sharing their project with other participants;
  • engaged in aligned UICC activities in the field of breast cancer (invitation to workshops, breast cancer webinars and other capacity building opportunities).

Evaluating the impact of the 2019 Project ECHO® on Knowledge Summaries for Comprehensive Breast Cancer Control

The initial Project ECHO on breast cancer control was conducted between 2018-2019 with a total of 53 participants. Of these, 28 participants responded to the baseline and endpoint surveys to evaluate how well the Project ECHO had achieved its objectives. An analysis of the results were published in June 2020 in an article by Mishka K. Cira et al., “Promoting evidence-based practices for breast cancer care through web-based collaborative learning” in Journal of Cancer Policy

The analysis shows that participation in the Project ECHO provided a real opportunity to gain knowledge, benefit from a productive exchange of information and resulted in strengthened breast cancer control projects in limited-resource settings. Almost half of responding participants reported that the course helped them to define their project scope, become more focused, and be able to better measure their results. The publication states that “according to all respondents (team leads and team members), the most valuable aspects of the programme were the opportunities to network, learn from others, and share knowledge”. 

Participants strengthened their knowledge on how to identify key data sources and partners, develop implementation strategies and reported that using the Knowledge Summaries increased their technical expertise. Core Project ECHO components, such as discussions and case or didactic presentations, were also noted as most helpful in strengthening project goals.

Overall, the article cited the following key benefits from the 2019 Project ECHO in breast cancer control:

  • Technical skill-building and access to experts
  • Learning from different backgrounds and settings
  • Project strengthening and access to relevant sources
  • Understanding about shared challenges and novel solutions

Last update

Monday 27 March 2023

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