System of informational support for the Breast Cancer Screening Programme in the Czech Republic.
start of the project: September 2002
Programmes aimed at early detection of malignant tumours rank among the top priorities concerning cancer control and management in the Czech Republic and Europe. According to the results of several epidemiological and clinical studies, screening programmes can effectively reduce mortality in three cancer diagnoses: breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cervical cancer. At the moment, all three evidence-based cancer screening programmes have been running in the Czech Republic, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Council of the European Union. The systems for individual data collection and performance monitoring are implemented in accordance with international guidelines, as issued by the EU Commission.
Expert medical societies responsible for the management of screening and diagnosis of preventable malignant tumours (breast cancer, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer) have agreed with the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic to appoint an academic institute responsible for data collection and performance monitoring of the screening programmes; this role has been attributed to the Institute of Biostatistics and Analyses of the Masaryk University (IBA MU).
A system for information support is a vital element of organised screening programmes. The Czech system for information support facilitates effective configuration and monitoring of screening process and outcomes. Its components include monitoring of cancer epidemiology, performance monitoring of screening centres and monitoring of screening programme using administrative data.
Breast Cancer Screening Programme in the Czech Republic was launched in September 2002. Since then, the programme has been supplemented with a performance monitoring system based on the collection and analysis of data from all screening and diagnostic examinations. The impact of the screening programme on breast cancer epidemiology has been obvious. Although incidence rates of breast cancer in the Czech Republic have steadily increased, a growing proportion of tumours is diagnosed in less advanced stages. The mortality rate has stabilised, and even a slight decrease has been observed recently. Values of early performance indicators are generally improving, and fulfil the targets set by European Guidelines. IBA MU ensures complex data support of this programme, including on-site implementation and evaluation of quality indicators and benchmarks.
The project also involves running and administration of the web portal www.mamo.cz (also available in English), which has been developed in order to enhance the public awareness of breast screening, and to coordinate the professional activities related to breast screening. The portal is intended both for experts and for the lay public. It brings to the physicians latest information on breast screening, and also serves as a communication platform among the screening centres and the executives who run the screening programme. The portal also involves a frequently visited on-line counselling service, which specialises in breast diseases.