Setting up a Breast Cancer Awareness Project in Mumbai: Methodology, Experiences and Challenges
More than two thirds of breast cancers in developing countries are diagnosed at a late stage. Awareness-based screening programmes, integrated into existing infrastructure, are the way forward for cancer control in these countries. We aim to describe a structured screening programme established in an urban community in Mumbai, India. We conducted a breast cancer awareness survey in this urban community covered by employees’ health scheme. A brochure was designed to inform women about early signs of breast cancer and was posted for the women in the community. We described early signs and symptoms of breast cancer and encouraged the women to seek healthcare in the breast clinics specifically designed for early referral. A multidisciplinary team was established for further in-house care at the community hospital. A database of the detected cancers was maintained. A total of 22,500 brochures were sent in each round of mailing. Four such rounds were conducted in 3 years. A total of 3547 women reported for clinical breast examination (CBE) for various breast complaints or screening. Of these women, 53% were asymptomatic. CBE was normal in 2843 women, and 767 (21%) women were referred for further investigations. Eighty-three breast cancers were detected with 72% having early (stage I–II) cancers. Our exploratory study revealed that awareness-based screening programmes with organised infrastructure and referral pattern could lead to diagnosing early cancers.
KeywordsBreast cancer Awareness Screening Low- and middle-income country
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 2.Anderson BO, Yip CH, Smith RA, Shyyan R, Sener SF, Eniu A, Carlson RW, Azavedo E, Harford J (2008) Guideline implementation for breast healthcare in low-income and middle-income countries: overview of the Breast Health Global Initiative Global Summit 2007. Cancer 113(Suppl 8):2221–2243CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 9.Krishnan S, Sivaram S, Anderson BO, Basu P, Belinson JL, Bhatla N, D’Cruz A, Dhillon PK, Gupta PC, Joshi N, Jhulka PK, Kailash U, Kapambwe S, Katoch VM, Kaur P, Kaur T, Mathur P, Prakash A, Sankaranarayanan R, Selvam JM, Seth T, Shah KV, Shastri S, Siddiqi M, Srivastava A, Trimble E, Rajaraman P, Mehrotra R (2015) Using implementation science to advance cancer prevention in India. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 16(9):3639–3644CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar