SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
APFFELSTAEDT, J P; HATTINGH, R; BAATJES, K and WESSELS, N. Results of a pilot programme of mammographic breast cancer screening in the Western Cape. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2014, vol.104, n.4, pp. 297-299. ISSN 2078-5135.
BACKGROUND: Mammographic screening programmes are now established in developing countries. We present an analysis of the first screening programme in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Women aged >40 years were identified at three primary healthcare centres in the Western Cape Province, South Africa, and after giving informed consent underwent mammography at a mobile unit. After a single reading, patients with American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BIRADS) 3 - 5 lesions were referred to a tertiary centre for further management. RESULTS: Between 1 February 2011 and 31 August 2012, 2 712 screening mammograms were performed. A total of 261 screening mammograms were reported as BIRADS 3 - 5 (recall rate 9.6%). Upon review of the 250 available screening mammograms, 58 (23%) were rated benign or no abnormalities (BIRADS 1 and 2) and no further action was taken. In 32 women, tissue was acquired (biopsy rate for the series 1.2%); 10 cancers were diagnosed (biopsy malignancy rate 31%). For the entire series of 2 712 screening mammograms, the cancer diagnosis rate was 3.7/1 000 examinations. Of 10 cancers diagnosed at screening, 5 were TNM clinical stage 0, 2 stage I and 3 stage II. CONCLUSION: The low cancer detection rate achieved, and the technical and multiple administrative problems experienced do not justify installation of a screening programme using the model utilised in this series.