Outcomes of community based mammography camps in urban and rural Maharashtra

Padmavathi V. Dyavarishetty, Dipak C. Patil, Shobha S. Kowli


Background: Breast cancer ranks at number one, amongst all cancer cases in India. Biennial mammography screening is recommended to enhance early detection of breast cancer. Lack of awareness, cost and availability of services is a hindering factor to undergo screening. Free screening mammography camps as means to motivate women to seek the facility at her doorstep was the strategy adopted under the breast cancer awareness and screening programme. The outcome of the mammography camps is reported here.

Methods: Mammography camps were conducted in urban and rural areas of Maharashtra over a period of three years. The process involved identification of eligible beneficiaries, health education, clinical breast examination followed by mammography in the mobile unit. Each camp had 25 to 40 women as this was the maximum limit that could be done per day by the mobile unit.

Results: Total 358 women underwent mammography screening in 10 community based screening camps, of which 2 camps were conducted in rural areas. Women were mostly between 50 to 70 years. Of the 40.8% women with some abnormalities in the mammogram, one was diagnosed with breast cancer and eight had benign breast lesions.

Conclusions: Though only a single case was detected, the camp approach was successful in sensitising the women on the need for preventive health checkup and motivated women to undergo mammography. Organising camps is by no means an easy task, however the camp approach may be the only way to provide access to mammography facilities in most parts of the country.


Clinical breast examination, Mammography, Screening

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