The European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer (ECIBC) provides essential levels of quality care that are equally accessible across Europe.

European quality assurance scheme for breast cancer services

The European quality assurance scheme for breast cancer services aims to improve the results of care and takes into account the patient experience and satisfaction.

The scheme will provide a common set of quality and safety requirements applicable by breast cancer services.

The scheme will cover relevant areas of healthcare provision for breast cancer and breast cancer care procedures.

The scheme is designed to be implemented on a voluntary basis by services who wish to demonstrate their quality of care. The compliance of the services with the scheme's requirements will be checked by independent bodies. Breast cancer services that fulfil the requirements will be awarded with a certificate.

European guidelines on screening and diagnosis

The objective of the European guidelines is to provide up-to-date evidence-based recommendations on breast cancer screening and diagnosis. Their development is transparently reported so they can be implemented across Europe and beyond.

The European guidelines offer to healthcare providers and women clear, objective and independent guidance on breast cancer screening and diagnosis. They guide healthcare managers and policy-makers when planning, organising and monitoring the effectiveness of screening programmes.

International guidelines on breast cancer care

To cover the entire breast cancer pathway, ECIBC also gathered guidelines developed by organisations worldwide, to complement the European guidelines for screening and diagnosis.

These guidelines are included in an easy-to-search catalogue and provide the needed evidence to support the European quality assurance scheme with good practices for all breast cancer care processes after screening and diagnosis (treatment, rehabilitation, survivorship and follow-up, palliative and end-of-life care).

The catalogue is periodically updated. It brings together the guidelines that meet the ECIBC eligibility criteria  for inclusion.

Timeline and milestones

  • 2021

    Finalisation of phase 1:
    Completion of the European guidelines on breast cancer screening and diagnosis with a total of 74 recommendations and 4 good practice statements
    Completion and release of the manuals of the European quality assurance scheme for breast cancer services and scheme owner

    Initialising phase 2:
    Testing the applicability of the European quality assurance scheme in real settings
    Continuous update of the European guidelines

  • 2020

    First update of the European guidelines
    Launch of a dedicated section for guidelines on the management of breast cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • 2019

    Release of recommendations on the frequency of screening, informing about results, further assessment, healthcare professional’s training and staging interventions
    First release of the international guidelines on breast cancer care collection

  • 2018

    Release of recommendations on invitation to screening, use of double reading, organisation of a screening programme, hormone receptors and biopsies

  • 2017

    Release of recommendations on screening for women with high breast density and the use of tomosynthesis

  • 2016

    ECIBC scope definition and initialising Phase I: developing the European guidelines and requirements for the QA scheme
    First release of the European guidelines: recommendations on screening ages

  • 2015

    Appointment of ECIBC’s working groups
    Launch of the ECIBC website