Indira care Service

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Mobile Mammography Project

One in seven of all cancers reported in Sri Lanka is breast cancer.

One in three cancers reported among women in Sri Lanka is breast cancer.

One in thirty eight women has life time risk of developing breast cancer.

Breast cancer has been the leading cancer as well as the number one cause of cancer deaths among women in Sri Lanka during the past 10 years.

National Cancer Registry , National Cancer Control Program, Ministry of Health 2011
National Cancer Registry , National Cancer Control Program, Ministry of Health 2011

Poor survival in breast cancer in low and middle income countries is mainly attributed to the advanced stage of the disease at diagnosis. In 2011 the stages of breast cancer in women was calculated and 18.5% was found to be at the advanced stage.

Early detection of breast cancer can be done through screening by self-examination of breasts; clinical breast examination by a trained care provider and by screening Mammography and / or Breast Ultrasound. As per the WHO the only breast cancer screening method that has proved to be effective is mammography screening. Population-based breast cancer mammography screening linked with timely and good-quality diagnosis and treatment services is therefore a must.

National Cancer Registry , National Cancer Control Program, Ministry of Health 2011

Mamography Services in the Public Sector ( As of August 2018)

In view of this scenario Indira Cancer Trust (ICT) had detailed discussions with a variety of stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, College of Radiology, College of Surgeons as well as the Atomic Energy Authority. A proposal which seeks a mobile mammography unit in a specialised bus that would screen / diagnose in systematic population screening was therefore submitted to the Ministry of Health.

This will support the government’s effort of implementing the national guidelines on early detection & management of breast cancer symptoms. A mobile unit with state of the art digital mammography system with all the facilities available on board will be taken around Sri Lanka. Screening women for breast cancer as well as being used for assessment of the disease to determine treatment. It is proposed that one machine is procured for each province on a phased in manner. Full time personnel, imaging, consultant review of the films are to be supported through the project and the implementation will be done through the Provincial and Regional Directors of Health Service. It is expected that approximately 100 mammograms will be done per day through this unit.

When travelling to districts / provinces it is expected that maximum utilisation of this service will be done. The proposed program / schedule for mobile mammography machine to be sent to the districts will be drawn up in consultation with the Director National Cancer Control Program and the respective authorities at district level. The services of all the MoH and Medical Officers conducting Healthy life style clinics, Work Place screening and Well Women Clinics to be informed early so that maximal utilization of the mammography machine is done for both screening as well as diagnosis.

The proposal is currently with the Ministry of Health undergoing technical evaluation. The total project cost is LKR 800 Million and ICT after a series of discussions, is facilitating a grant from India to initiate and implement this effort.

Early Detection Saves Lives