In order to help specifically address the higher mortality rates of breast cancer cases in low resource settings, in 2014, UICC and other oncology organisations launched the Breast Cancer Initiative 2.5 (BCI2.5) to reduce disparities in breast cancer outcomes and improve access to breast health care for 2.5 million women by 2025.
Subsequently, UICC, NCI’s Center for Global Health, Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) and PAHO jointly produced the Knowledge Summaries for Comprehensive Breast Cancer Control (KSBC), a set of tools to help guide policymakers, advocates and clinicians in developing appropriate programmes and policies. The goal of the KSBC is to facilitate evidence-based policy actions and urgently advance implementation of an integrated approach to reduce breast cancer mortality and improve quality of life.
In 2015, UICC teamed up with Pfizer Oncology to launch the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community (SPARC) MBC Challenge. This global grant initiative seeks to support new ideas and projects from advocacy groups, hospital networks and other non-for-profit organisations working to address the specific needs of metastatic breast cancer patients. Since its launch, the SPARC MBC Challenge has awarded a total of 1,580,000 USD in grants to over 50 organisations from 35 countries, helping to get their projects off the ground through a package of training, networking, mentoring and financial support.
More recently, UICC launched a five-year Breast Cancer Programme in October 2020. 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.
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 and seeks to 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.
Despite advances and progress seen in breast cancer in recent years, current data highlights that breast cancer incidence and mortality remain the highest for cancer in women, with an estimated 2.1 million new cases and 626,679 deaths in 2018. This trend is only going to accelerate in the next 20 years, with a disproportionate number of cases and deaths expected to occur in low-resource settings.
To tackle the growing breast cancer burden, it is critical that improvements are made in
The breast cancer series aims to highlight these key issues and foster focused discussions amongst UICC members and renowned experts on key actions needed to reduce the global breast cancer burden.