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Report of a European survey on the organisation of breast cancer care services - Supporting information for the European Commission initiative on breast cancer

Background: The objective of this survey was to collect information from the countries involved in the European Commission initiative on breast cancer (the 28 Member States, plus Iceland and Norway) regarding the organisation of breast cancer services and other aspects of interest for the initiative (e.g. screening programmes, training requirements for professionals, quality and safety aspects, quality assurance schemes, etc.). Methods: The survey included a questionnaire and a data protection form distributed by e-mail, the participants were nominated upon request of Directorate General for Health and Consumers via respective health attaches. Results: Twenty-five out of 30 contacted countries responded, corresponding to a response rate of 83%. Conclusions: Healthcare systems are diverse across Europe; different quality assurance schemes for breast cancer care are in place for less than 50% of the countries. A European-wide, harmonised, evidence-based and flexible scheme is needed to grant equal and quality benchmarked treatment to patients.