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

  • Reddy, Neha (Northwestern University) ;
  • Ninan, Tilu (The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center) ;
  • Tabar, Laszlo (Department of Radiology, University of Uppsala School of Medicine) ;
  • Bevers, Therese (The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center)
  • Published : 2012.12.31


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 other groups 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 underwent mammography, 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 attention or 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.


  1. Agarwal G, Ramakant P (2008). Breast cancer care in India: the current scenario and the challenges for the future. Breast Care, 3, 21-7.
  2. Ahuja S, Chakrabarti N (2010). To determine the level of knowledge regarding breast cancer and to increase awareness about breast cancer screening practices among a group of women in a tertiary care hospital in Mumbia, India. Int J Public Hlth, 1, 1.
  3. Al-Naggar R, Bobryshev Y (2012). Practice and barriers of mammography among Malaysian women in the general population. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 8, 3595-600.
  4. American Cancer Society (2009). Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 2009-2010. 1-30.
  5. Bagchi S (2008). Breast Cancer rises in India. CMAJ, 179, 27.
  6. Bleyer A, Welch H (2012). Effect of three decades of screening mammography on breast-cancer incidence. The New England J Med, 367, 1998-2005.
  7. Claus EB, Rish N, Thomson WD (1990). Age at onset as an indicator of familial risk of breast cancer. Am J Epidemiol, 131, 961-72.
  8. Dinshaw K, Mishra G, Shastri S (2007). Determinants of compliance in a cluster randomised controlled trial on screening of breast and cervix cancer in Mumbai, India. 1. Compliance to screening. Oncology, 73, 154-61.
  9. Dinshaw KA, Shastri SS, Patil SS (2005). Cancer control programme in india: challenges for the New Millennium. Hlth Administrator, 17, 10-3.
  10. Harirchi I, Azary S, Montazeri A, et al. (2012). Literacy and Breast Cancer Prevention: a Population-Based Study from Iran. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 8, 3927-30.
  11. Kalache A (1990). Risk factors for breast cancer, with special reference to developing countries. Hlth Policy Plan, 5, 1-22.
  12. Lamberts OQ, Draisma G, der Kinderen A, Brown ML, de Koning HJ (2010). Breast cancer screening policies in developing countries: a cost-effectiveness analysis for India. J Natl Cancer Inst, 100, 1290-300.
  13. Ministry Of Health and Family Welfare (mohfw). (2010). National Rural Health Mission: 2005-2010:
  14. Mishra D, Singh H: Kuppuswamy (2003). Socioeconomic social scale- a revision. Indian J Pediatr, 70, 273-4.
  15. Moss S (2008). Screening for breast cancer in India-Is it an appropriate strategy? J Natl Cancer Inst, 100, 1270-1.
  16. Murthy NS, Agarwal UK, Chaudhry K, Saxena S (2007). A study on time trends in incidence of breast cancer - Indian scenario. Eur J Cancer Care, 16, 185-6.
  17. Murthy NS, Juneja A, Sehgal A, Luthra UK (1990). Cancer projection by the turn of century. Indian J Cancer, 27, 74-82.
  18. Sankaranarayanan R, Ramadas K, Thara S, et al (2011). Clinical breast examination: preliminary results from a cluster randomized controlled trial in India. J Natl Cancer Inst, 19, 1476-80.
  19. Smith RA, Saslow D, Sawyer KA, et al (2003). American cancer society guidelines for breast cancer screening. CA Cancer J Clin, 53,141-69.
  20. Saxena S, Rekhi B, Bansal A, et al (2005). Clinico-morphological patterns of breast cancer including family history in a New Delhi hospital, India-a cross-sectional study. World J Surg Oncol, 3, 67.
  21. Sutnick AI, Saunders JF, Puchkov YI (1982). Cancer control in India: a multinational approach involving the USA and the USSR. Am J Public Hlth, 72, 714-717.
  22. Swaminathan R, Selvakumaran R, Vinodha J, et al (2009). Education and cancer incidence in a rural population in south India. Cancer Epidemiol, 33, 89-93.
  23. Tabar L, Fagerberg CJG, Gad A, et al (1985). Reduction in mortality from breast cancer after mass screening with mammogram. Randomised trial from the breast cancer screening working group of the Swedish national board of health and welfare. Lancet, 1, 829-32.
  24. Tabar L, Yen MF, Vitak B, et al (2003). Mammogram service screening and mortality in breast cancer patients: 20-year follow-up before and after introduction of screening. Lancet, 361, 1405-10.
  25. Wu TY, Chung S, Yeh MC, et al. (2012). Understanding breast cancer screening practices in taiwan: a country with universal health care. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 9, 4289-94.
  26. Yeole BB, Kurkure AP (2003). An epidemiological assessment of increasing incidence and trends in breast cancer in Mumbai and other sites in India, during the last two decades. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 4, 51-6.
  27. Yousuf SA, Al Amoudi SM, Nicolas W, Banjar HE, Salem SM (2012). Do Saudi nurses in primary health care centres have breast cancer knowledge to promote breast cancer awareness? Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 9, 4459-64.

Cited by

  1. Bcl-2 Gene Expression in Human Breast Cancers in Iran vol.14, pp.7, 2013,
  2. From Community Laywomen to Breast Health Workers: A Pilot Training Model to Implement Clinical Breast Exam Screening in Malawi vol.11, pp.3, 2016,