About the BCSC

About the BCSC

The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) is a collaborative network of six active breast imaging registries and two historic registries focused on research to assess and improve the delivery and quality of breast cancer screening and related outcomes in the United States. The registries perform annual linkages to tumor and pathology registries in their geographic region and are supported by a central Statistical Coordinating Center.

Two important objectives of the BCSC are to enhance the current understanding of breast cancer screening practices and to help improve the practice of community-based mammography screening for women with and without a personal history of breast cancer. Both objectives are aimed at improving the balance of benefit and harms of breast cancer screening by providing clinically meaningful, robust evidence based on a woman’s breast cancer risk and screening modality with the ultimate goal of reducing breast cancer mortality. To pursue these objectives, the participating sites collaborate to conduct research and disseminate the results. The sites actively collaborate with radiology practices in their communities and with other groups interested in and affected by breast cancer screening.

BCSC Mission and Vision Statement

The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) conducts rigorous research to improve breast cancer screening and detection and reduce the burden of breast cancer. BCSC registries contribute high-quality data and scientific expertise to the BCSC. The Statistical Coordinating Center supports the BCSC by performing data management and statistical analysis and providing expertise and scientific collaboration. The BCSC serves the scientific community and the public by expanding, improving, and sharing the rich BCSC resource - a foundation for future research.

Data and Dissemination Activities

Information on the BCSC database can be found on the data page.

Since the consortium's inception, BCSC data has been used in over 700 papers across a wide variety of scientific journals, including JAMA; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Journal of the National Cancer Institute; and Radiology

These papers cover an array of scientific topics, including:

  • Characteristics of women, facilities, radiologists, and technology that affect the performance of screening mammography
  • Biological characteristics of breast tumors that influence whether they can be detected by screening mammography
  • Development of innovative statistical methods
  • Differences in screening rates among racial/ethnic populations

A significant portion of these published works have been the result of BCSC collaboration and data sharing activities. External researchers habe received more than 285 custom BCSC datasets, led more than 60 of the 115+ BCSC ancillary grants, and led more than 450 of the BCSC's 700 publications (including 100+ papers with no BCSC collaborators involved).

The BCSC has also worked collaboratively with the American College of Radiology (ACR)  to develop common data forms that collect patient and radiology information. This collaboration has resulted in improvements in the quality of mammography data collected and has improved data quality within the BCSC.

A full description of the history and early work of the BCSC can be found in Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium: Evaluating Screening Performance in Practice.

Interested in using BCSC data for your research?

The BCSC collects research data on breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and outcomes. We share data through publicly available datasets and through research collaborations.

The BCSC public use datasets can be downloaded right away, at no cost. To see if our public use datasets meet your needs, browse the datasets available for download.

BCSC also collaborates with external investigators on funded research. You can find more information on our Working with the BCSC page