Despite advances and progress seen in breast cancer in recent years, and extensive mobilisation of civil society groups around the world, current data highlight that breast cancer incidence and mortality remain the highest for cancer in women, and that this trend is only going to accelerate in the next 20 years.
UICC’s Breast Cancer Programme is designed to respond to the urgent need to accelerate progress in breast cancer, which remains the most diagnosed 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.
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:
The programme will build bridges between a vast array of stakeholders (cancer leaders, cancer organisations, patient groups, healthcare providers, foundations, industry, governments and multilateral agencies) at regional and global levels. Through focused discussions on the key actions needed to reduce the breast cancer burden, UICC’s Breast Cancer Programme also aims to create a common agenda on breast cancer and propose a framework for action.
The programme is launching on 1st October 2020. In the first year of the programme, a series of opportunities will be offered to support UICC members to:
Develop and implement strong breast cancer programmes
As one of the first activities of the programme, UICC will support its members to increase their knowledge on breast cancer control and support the implementation of effective breast cancer control policies through a dedicated Project ECHO®. With this online course, UICC members will be in a position to deliver stronger breast cancer control policies and programmes in accordance with their setting. They will have access to breast cancer experts who will provide individual feedback on their projects and have the opportunity to increase their network and share best practices with peers around the world. With this Project ECHO on the Knowledge Summaries for Breast Cancer, delivered in partnership with the NCI Center for Global Health and the Breast Health Global Initiative, 30 breast cancer organisations around the world will gather virtually for a period of six months, starting in October 2020.
Promote patient-centred cancer control and strengthen the patient voice
Patient groups from amongst UICC members, whose activities are focused on breast cancer, are participating in the Master course on Patient Engagement. Benefitting from live webinars, learning opportunities and best practice sharing, these patient groups will also participate in tailored discussions on breast cancer during the Master course.
In addition, a first cohort of five patient groups focused on breast cancer are being recruited in the Eastern Mediterranean region and will benefit from the Patient Group Mentoring programme. This programme includes tailored assistance to maximise opportunities for these groups, increase connections in the region and beyond, and stimulate the creation of new patient groups in the region.
Advance national breast cancer control through effective advocacy
In addition to the above activities, the Breast Cancer Programme will support organisations in the development and implementation of their national cancer advocacy efforts through the Cancer Advocates programme. Organisations with a focus on breast cancer are particularly invited to apply to the call for expressions of interest, open from 15th September to 15th October.
Connect with and access insights from the global breast cancer community
Finally, to engage the wider breast cancer community, and facilitate global conversations on breast cancer, a series of Virtual Dialogues on key topics around breast cancer will be launched in October 2020.
Additional opportunities will unfold in 2021, including fellowships and a breast cancer leadership stream, which will culminate in a gathering of key breast cancer actors at the end of the year.
“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.”
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 as a founding partner with whom UICC has enjoyed a strong six-year partnership on metastatic breast cancer through the SPARC MBC Challenge, as well as Daiichi Sankyo, the US National Cancer Institute Center for Global Health, the Breast Health Global Initiative and is connected to the Breast Cancer Initiative 2.5.