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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


APFFELSTAEDT, J P; STEENKAMP, V  and  BAATJES, K. Performance data of screening mammography at a dedicated breast health centre. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2008, vol.98, n.12, pp.950-953. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: Mammographic screening has become part of routine health care. We present a first analysis of screening mammography in a dedicated breast health centre in Africa. OBJECTIVE: To establish a performance benchmark and provide data for health care policy and funding decisions on screening mammography.Method. All mammography performed between January 2003 and August 2008 was entered into a prospective database. Mammography was performed exclusively by certified mammographers and double-read by experienced readers. RESULTS: Outcomes were classified in a simplified classification system based on the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BIRADS). In 40 - 49-year-old women, 3 192 mammograms led to a recall rate of 4.7%, a biopsy rate of 1.9% and a cancer diagnosis rate of 3.8 per 1 000 examinations; for women of 50 years and older, the corresponding figures were 4 446, 5.4%, 2.6% and 9.7 per 1 000. Of the cancers detected, 31% were in situ and, of the invasive cancers, 81% were node-negative. These figures were established by a dedicated surgeon-led team and fall within the range expected in organised screening programmes in resource-rich environments, providing a first benchmark for screening mammography in Africa.

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