Uptake of clinical breast examination services at an urban health centre following community-based awareness programme

Padmavathi V. Dyavarishetty, Shobha S. Kowli, Prachi D. Sondankar, Padmaja K. Chowdary, Anjali A. Nimbalkar, Varsha V. Pai


Background: A significant proportion of women present in advanced stages of breast cancer due to lack of awareness and non-availability of preventive health checkups. Annual clinical breast examination (CBE) in women aged 40-60 years is estimated to reduce mortality in India comparable to that achieved by biennial mammography at considerably low cost. Aim of the project was to encourage women aged 30-70 years to regularly undergo annual CBE.

Methods: The five year project was implemented in Mumbai in an estimated population of 15120 distributed in slums and low income group buildings. The beneficiaries of the project were women aged 30-70 years. Two Interventions, i.e. breast cancer education and screening were implemented by the project. List of women eligible for breast cancer screening, was used to track the utilisation of services.

Results: Over the period of five years, 14249 one-one health education interactions took place and fourteen group health education sessions were conducted. 59.7% of the women had received health education at least once. Proportion of women trained in doing SBE was 51%. Proportion of women undergoing at least one CBE was 44.1%. Age was significantly associated with availing of services. Two women were detected with breast cancer.

Conclusions: This project demonstrated that it is possible to motivate a large number of women to undergo screening, and such health education programmes will slowly improve the awareness and change health seeking behaviour.



Clinical breast examination, Breast cancer, India

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