The Results of a Breast Cancer Screening Camp at a District Level in Rural India


Background: Breast cancer in developing countries is on the rise. There are currently no guidelines to screen women at risk in India. Since mammography in the western world is a well-accepted screening tool to prevent late presentation of breast cancer and improve mortality, it is intuitive to adopt mammography as a screening tool of choice. However, it is expensive and fraught with logistical issues in developing countries like India.Materials and
Methods: Our breast cancer screening camp was done at a local district hospital in India after approval from the director and administrators. After initial training of local health care workers, a one-day camp was held. Clinical breast examination, mammograms, as well as diagnostic evaluation with ultrasound and fine needle aspiration biopsy were utilized.
Results: Out of total 68 women screened only 2 women with previous history of breast cancer were diagnosed with breast cancer recurrence. None of the women in othergroups were diagnosed with breast cancer despite suspicious lesions either on clinical exam, mammogram or ultrasound. Most suspicious lesions were fibroadenomas. The average cost of screening women who underwentmammography, ultrasound and fine needle aspiration was $30 dollars, whereas it was $16 in women who had simple clinical breast examination.
Conclusions: Local camps act as catalysts for women to seek medical attentionor discuss with local health care workers concerns of discovering new lumps or developing breast symptoms.Our camp did diagnose recurrence of breast cancer in two previously treated breast cancer patients, who were promptly referred to a regional cancer hospital. Further studies are needed in countries like India to identify the best screening tool to decrease the presentation of breast cancer in advanced stages and to reduce mortality.