In Germany breast cancer is, like in many other industrial nations, the most frequent cancer-disease of women (67.482 new diagnoses in 2011, according to the Association of Cancer Registries in Germany (GEKID)). For that reason, in June 2002, the German government decided the implementation of a nationwide quality-assured Mammography Screening Program, according to the European Guidelines (European guidelines for quality assurance in breast cancer screening and diagnosis, Fourth edition, European Commission, Luxembourg).

Every woman in the age group between 50 and 69 years receives a personal invitation for a quality assured mammography examination in one of the 94 screening-units. The program comprises about 10 million females and has a recall rate of two years.

The reference centers are taking a key role in the German screening-program. Under the administration of the cooperation-union of mammography, the tasks of these reference centers are to supervise and to manage the entire screening-project.

About us

The Reference Center for Mammography in Münster (RCM) was the first of five nationwide spread centers. Under the management of Prof. Dr. Walter Heindel we started our work in 2005. The RCM will supervise 22 screening-units in the region of Nordrhein-Westfalen with a catchment area of 2.2 million women. The main focus of the RCM is digital mammography and its impact in the program.

Task statement

Research priorities

The mean scientific task of the RCM is the evaluation of the digital mammography technique.

Research topics:

Research team

Technology resources

The RCM has two mammography-units. The reference screening-unit as well as the assessment-unit are both equipped with an advanced digital detector system.

Available equipment:

Research partners

Support of students

In the context of research projects the RCM gives students the opportunity to write there dissertations, diploma- and master-thesis as well as internships.