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Disease Prevention and Control / Noncommunicable Diseases / Cancer

Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI)


Mission |  Staff |  Collaborating Organizations |  Corporate Partners |  Numbers

About the Breast Health Global Initiative and its Mission

The Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) strives to develop evidence-based, economically feasible and culturally appropriate Guidelines for underdeveloped nations to improve breast-health outcomes.

Through the dedication, commitment and support of national and international organizations, individual physicians, scientists, economists and policy-makers, and foundation and corporate partners, BHGI's global alliance and its breast-health guidelines are the catalyst for public-health research and efforts to improve breast-health care for women around the world.

BHGI is co-sponsored by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, USA and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, located in Dallas, Texas, USA. The Hutchinson Center is home to three Nobel laureates and is world renowned in cancer research and a global leader in the effort to eliminate cancer as cause of human suffering and death. The Komen Foundation is a global leader in the fight against breast cancer through its support of innovative research, community-based outreach programs and advocacy.

BHGI Staff

  • BHGI Program Manager and Contact Person: Leslie Sullivan, Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Phone (206) 667-2545.
  • BHGI Chairman and Director: Benjamin O. Anderson, M.D.; Joint Associate Member, Public Health Sciences Division Epidemiology Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Professor of Surgery and Director, Breast Health Center, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle.
  • BHGI Steering Committee Chairman: Gabriel N. Hortobágyi, M.D., FACP; Professor and chairman, Department of Breast Medical Oncology; Nellie B. Connally Chair in Breast Cancer; Director of the Breast Cancer Research Program, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Collaborating Organizations

  • International Union Against Cancer (UICC)
  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI), Office of International Affairs (USA)
  • International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR)
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, USA)
  • Breast Surgery International (BSI)
  • International Society of Breast Pathology (ISBP)
  • American Society of Breast Disease (ASBD)
  • World Society for Breast Health (WSBH)
  • Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC)
  • International Society for Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)

Corporate Partners
  Amgen |  AstraZeneca |  Bristol-Myers Squibb Company |  Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. |  Pfizer, Inc.

Breast Cancer by the Numbers

Although statistics can't tell the entire story about the impact of breast cancer among women, they are a factor driving the need to improve detection and treatment. According to research by the Breast Health Global Initiative,

  • Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the world today due to its high incidence and relatively good prognosis. An estimated 4.4 million women are alive today in whom breast cancer was diagnosed within the last five years.
  • However, breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide.
  • More than 1.1 million women worldwide are newly diagnosed with breast cancer annually. This represents about 10% of all new cancer cases and 23% of all female cancers.
  • With more than 410,000 deaths each year, breast cancer accounts for about 14% of all female cancer deaths and 1.6% of all female deaths worldwide.
  • Incidence rates are climbing by as much as 5% annually in low-resource countries.

PAHO Cancer Page

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

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