The breast cancer screening programme in Flanders : 2001-2008
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Belgian journal of medical oncology. - Amsterdam, 2007, currens
, p. 203-208
University of Antwerp
Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in Belgian and is still the leading cause of cancer mortality in women. Early detection of breast cancer by systematic mammography screening can identify tumours for which treatment is more effective and generally more favourable. Since 2001, the breast cancer screening programme is organized in Flanders. The screening services are organised by mammography units and five regional screenings centres, which have been recognised by the Flemish community for certain tasks within the framework of the screening programme. Women aged 50-69 years are actively recruited from the national population register through a personal invitation every two years. Women who attend screening undergo bilateral two view mammography and all films are read blind by two radiologists. In case of disagreement, a third reader gives a final assessment. Quality control, data collection, and evaluation across the full spectrum of the screening service are a distinguishing feature of the programme. This report describes outcomes of the Flemish programme, 2001-2008. The Flemish programme has achieved most of the EU recommended measures of screening performance. Reducing the delay time between screening and result, and evaluating the interval cancer rate are of the utmost importance for the coming years.