The objective of this study is to describe a systematic reivew of breast cancer health services research that was conducted to guide a Canadian Breast Cancer Research Initiative workshop. A literature review of major citation databases was conducted. The National Cancer Institute of Canada Framework for Cancer Control was adopted to classify articles by theme area and by type of health services research. The majority of the studies focused on screening for breast cancer and were descriptive studies on accessibility. Relatively few studies examined quality and outcomes of breast cancer services or interventions to improve such services. Furthermore, few health services research studies examined the areas of supportive care or palliation. The results help to identify the gaps in the Canadian and international research in this area. The material from the review was used as background for a workshop to support the work of the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Initiative Task Force on Health Services Research.