Breast Cancer Programme

Strengthen and engage the global breast cancer community

UICC’s Breast Cancer Programme is designed to respond to the urgent need to accelerate progress in breast cancer, which is the most diagnosed cancer in both men and women and the leading cause of death from cancer in women. This comprehensive programme strengthens and engages the global breast cancer community, with the overall goal of contributing to the reduction of premature deaths from breast cancer and improving the quality of life of patients.

Objectives of the programme

Our ambition is to strengthen and engage the breast cancer community to contribute to major global health targets, and in particular the WHO Global Breast Cancer Initiative (GBCI).

Leveraging established UICC’s Capacity Building programmes and convening platforms, the Breast Cancer Programme aims to support and strengthen the capacity of key breast cancer actors to increase their impact with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries.

Through a series of activities and opportunities, the programme aims to deliver in the following key outcomes:

  • Accelerate the development of breast cancer leaders
  • Strengthen organisational capacities of breast cancer organisations, including patient groups 
  • Support the development of the health workforce in breast cancer 
  • Support national action on breast cancer in responding to key areas and needs in breast cancer control
  • Strengthen networks and collaborations in breast cancer at a national, regional and global level
  • Unite the voice of the breast cancer community, including patient groups, to advocate for more effective breast cancer control 

The programme builds bridges between a vast array of stakeholders (leaders, organisations, patient groups, healthcare providers, private sector, governments and multilateral agencies) at regional and global levels to catalyse engagement towards the WHO GBCI targets. 


Current activities

To achieve the above key outcomes, UICC is continually developing and offering new opportunities to support the breast cancer community, and provide a space to learn and share experiences, and evidence-based practices.

Femama Breast Cancer

Learning to implement strong breast cancer programmes
As one of the first activities of the programme, UICC supported its members through a dedicated Project ECHO®. In this online course, participants accessed breast cancer experts and received feedback on their projects from their peers. This Project ECHO focusing on the Knowledge Summaries for Breast Cancer Control engaged 25 breast cancer organisations around the world for a period of six months with the objective to help them deliver stronger breast cancer control policies and programmes.

In 2022, a new Master course 'Good practices for planning and implementing breast cancer projects' is being launched. In addition to videos, live sessions will enable participants to connect and learn from each other. Applications for this course are open until 1 November. 

Driving national action to advance early detection  
Alongside providing training to organisations to develop strong breast cancer programmes and projects, UICC is also providing grants to support organisations to improve the early diagnosis of breast cancer. In 2021, four new projects in advocacy, education of health care workers and patient navigation were launched in LMICs. In 2022, 15 new projects from universities, hospitals and civil society organisations will receive seed-funding to launch a one-year project addressing inequity in breast cancer.

Convening the breast cancer community regionally and globally 
UICC is leveraging all of its flagship convening platforms to further progress on breast cancer. During the 2021 World Cancer Leaders Summit experts in breast cancer came together to discuss 'The role of innovation and cross-sectoral partnerships in advancing global breast cancer control'. In the 2022 World Cancer Congress, in addition to a wide array of session on breast cancer a workshop will be held in collaboration with the WHO GBCI to advance the early detection of breast cancer in resource-limited settings. 

At a regional level, UICC is also delighted to be working with its members to organise a series of workshops focused on women's cancers, bringing together all stakeholders, including civil society, Ministries of Health, technical and financial partners. These workshops will be held in Africa, Latin America and Asia in 2022 and 2023, and seek to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and expertise, support strengthened networks and enable growing collaborations to address breast and cervical cancer in these regions. Finally, Virtual Dialogues are offered throughout the year to bring together the wider breast cancer community to discuss and raise awareness of key topics. 

Promote patient-centred cancer control and strengthen the patient voice
To help raise the voices of people living with breast cancer, UICC engaged 50 patient groups focusing on breast cancer in the Master course on Patient Engagement in 2020. Benefitting from live webinars, learning opportunities and best practice sharing, these patient groups participated in tailored discussions on breast cancer during the Master course, now available as a self-guided course on demand. In addition, the Patient Group Mentoring Programme has also been extended into the Eastern Mediterranean region, with 10 patient organisations focused on breast cancer joining the mentoring programme. Through regular webinars, they receive tailored assistance and relevant connections in the region and beyond, to stimulate the creation of new patient groups in the region. Patient groups are included in all aspects of the Breast Cancer Programme. 

Advance national breast cancer control through advocacy 
The Breast Cancer Programme is supporting organisations in the development and implementation of their national cancer advocacy efforts through the Cancer Advocates programme. 13 organisations with a focus on breast cancer were selected as part of the 2021 Cancer Advocates cohort. They received advocacy training and individual mentorship.

Support the development of the health workforce in breast cancer
To strengthen the skills of individual healthcare professionals and share knowledge and expertise between organisations, breast cancer professionals are invited to apply for a UICC Technical Fellowships. Technical Fellowships allow individuals to visit another organisation for a period of up to two months to acquire specific skills or knowledge, for example in the area of public health or clinical service delivery.

Princess Dina Mired Quote image

“While the incidence of breast cancer is generally higher in more developed regions, the number of cases is rising in low- and middle-income countries and they are often diagnosed later, leading to more serious outcomes. The Breast Cancer Programme is part of a broader UICC commitment to women’s cancers and will strengthen the capacity of key breast cancer actors in order to reverse these trends. This not only promises to prevent thousands of premature deaths but also contribute to greater equity in cancer care.”

HRH Princess Dina Mired of Jordan

A multi-partnership initiative

In line with its ambition to engage all actors from the breast cancer community, UICC’s Breast Cancer Programme is a multi-partnership initiative gathering leading organisations from the private sector, development agencies and NGOs. The Programme is supported by Pfizer (Founding Partner), Daiichi Sankyo, Revolution Watch, the US National Cancer Institute Center for Global Health, Roche, in collaboration with the Breast Health Global Initiative, and WHO's Global Breast Cancer Initiative.

Last update: 
Tuesday 15 November 2022