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The contents of this section were published in 2003 as part of SEER's 30th Anniversary celebration.

The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) is an NCI-sponsored collaborative network of mammography registries with linkages to tumor registries and pathology data. The BCSC was established in 1994 in response to a legislative mandate from the 1992 Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) to evaluate the performance of mammography in community practice and related screening and breast cancer outcomes. Several SEER investigators participate in the Consortium.

At its inception, the objectives of the BCSC were to: (1) enhance the understanding of breast cancer screening practices in the United States and the relationship of these practices to changes in breast cancer mortality or other shorter term outcomes, such as stage at diagnosis or regional survival; (2) foster collaborative research among BCSC participants to examine issues such as regional and health care system differences in the provision of screening services and subsequent diagnostic evaluation; and (3) provide a foundation for the conduct of clinical and basic science research that can improve the understanding of the natural history of breast cancer.

To date, the Consortium has collected data for more than 1.5 million women and 4 million mammograms. Within this group, approximately 34,000 breast cancers have been detected. Thus, the size of the population-based BCSC database, the longitudinal nature of these data, and the multidisciplinary teams of investigators, including radiologists, primary care clinicians, pathologists, epidemiologists, and statisticians, make the BCSC a unique resource for understanding breast cancer screening practices in the United States. More than 150 publications have resulted from the BCSC effort.

Selected References

Ballard-Barbash R, Taplin SH, Yankaskas BC, Ernster VL, Rosenberg RD, Carney PA, Barlow WE, Geller BM, Kerlikowske K, Edwards BK, Lynch CF, Urban N, Chrvala CA, Key CR, Poplack SP, Worden JK, Kessler LG. Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium: a national mammography screening and outcomes database. AJR Am J Roentgenol 1997;169:1001-1008.

For more information, see the BCSC Web site: http://breastscreening.cancer.gov/index.html

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