In close collaboration with European research institutions, the JRC investigated how women value breast cancer screening programmes and diagnostic services. It became evident that women highly value early diagnosis despite taking into account the risk of over-diagnosis or false-positive results. Moreover, women want to have rapid delivery of the result.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and one of the leading causes of all cancer deaths worldwide.
The European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer ECIBC, coordinated by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), is developing new European Guidelines for breast cancer screening and diagnosis and providing a platform of internationally recognised Guidelines to cover the remainder of the breast cancer healthcare pathway, namely treatment, follow-up and palliative care.
These updates follow an evidence based, patient centred approach.
Furthermore, ECIBC is also developing a European quality assurance scheme, that provides quality criteria to ensure Breast Cancer Centres who implement the scheme across Europe, and beyond, provide care in a uniform way.
For the development of the evidence-based recommendations deriving from the European Guidelines, the main desirable and undesirable outcomes of the interventions considered are carefully evaluated.
In addition, women's values and preferences concerning screening and diagnosis and issues related to the use of resources, acceptability, feasibility and equity, are taken into account in order to come to a balanced decision about recommending any of the interventions included in the Guidelines.
Therefore, scientists from the European Commission's Joint Research Centre and research institutions in various EU Member States have undertaken a systematic review on women's values and preferences concerning breast cancer screening and diagnostic services in order to inform the recommendations issued by ECIBC.
To achieve this, the results of 22 individual studies involving 12 174 women were reviewed.
Results indicate that women are willing to accept the psychological and physical burden of breast cancer screening. They accept the risk of over-diagnosis and false-positive mammography findings, in return for the benefits of earlier diagnosis. Moreover, women highly value time-efficient breast cancer screening processes and rapid result delivery.
Read more in:
A.G. Mathioudakis et al.: "Systematic review on women's values and prefernces concerning breast cancer screening and diagnostic services", Psycho-Oncology 2019, 28:939-947; doi: 10.1002/pon.5041
Systematic review on women's values and preferences concerning breast cancer screening and diagnostic services
- Publication date
- 23 July 2019