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 sought 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. The SPARC MBC Challenge awarded a total of 1,580,000 USD in grants to over 50 organisations from 35 countries, providing seed funding for new initiatives alongside a package of training, networking, mentoring and financial support.
More recently, in October 2020, UICC launched a Breast Cancer Programme. 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 gatherings leading organisations from the private sector, development agencies and NGOs and seeks to build bridges between a vast array of stakeholders (leaders, organisations, patient groups, healthcare providers, private sector, governments and multilateral agencies) at regional and global levels in support of the WHO Global Breast Cancer Initiative’s targets. The Breast Cancer Programme offers regular engagement and learning opportunities such online trainings, workshops and grants.
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 over 2.2 million new cases and 684,996 deaths in 2020. 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.
Continuing this series, on October 3, a Virtual Dialogue will be held on 'Closing the care gap in metastatic breast cancer'. The session will focus on number of proposed actions for change to improve and extend the lives of people living with advanced breast cancer in all countries worldwide that constitute the ABC Global Alliance Charter.
In partnership with the US National Cancer Institute Center for Global Health and the Breast Health Global Initiative, UICC has developed a new online learning opportunity, 'Good practices for planning and implementing breast cancer projects'. It includes material from various Project ECHO® groups working on cancer, including the Project ECHO on breast cancer control, the ICCP Project ECHO and the Cancer in Africa Project ECHO.