Advancing breast cancer diagnosis in the developing world

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Published: 21 Mar 2023
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Dr Hans Junkermann, Prof Dr.Erkin Arıbal and Dr Richard Rainsbury

To help improve the quality of breast cancer care globally, a collaboration of leading partners has created the Grand Rounds in Breast Cancer series of educational webinars. This session with ecancer enables learners the opportunity to discuss controversies, real-life challenges and effective application of existing knowledge.

Prof Dr.Erkin Arıbal (Acibadem Altunizade Hospital, Istanbul, Türkiye) presents his talk on what can be learnt from screening mammography trials in Turkey. He highlights that breast cancer patients have an advanced stage at diagnosis due to a lack of awareness and the lack of nationwide organised mammography screening programs.

He continues to discuss the ‘Bahcesehir breast cancer mammography screening project’ which was created to show the possibility of an organised screening program in Turkey and looked at the cost-effectiveness of mammography screening. 

Dr Richard Rainsbury (Winchester Breast Unit, Winchester, UK) looks at the challenges of breast cancer diagnosis in Zimbabwe. In 2021, the 'Matabeleland South Project' launched a 5 step plan to help the early section of breast cancer.

  1. To prioritise the education of healthcare staff and patients
  2. To set up decentralised, accessible diagnostic clinics
  3. To ‘screen’ patients using CBE and Breast US
  4. To design software for data collection and audit 
  5. To engage the MoH to secure their support

Dr Rainsbury highlights that Zimbabwe has a chronically underfunded public health service so mammographic screening is currently unachievable and inappropriate.

The discussion is continued with both speakers and Dr Hans Junkermann (formerly of the University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany) discussing breast cancer diagnosis in LMICs and how patients are diagnosed in Germany.

The next webinar will take place on the 16th June 2023 covering tailored oncology for ALL breast cancer patients.