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Breast. 2008 Feb;17(1):42-50. Epub 2007 Aug 27.

The acceptance and feasibility of breast cancer screening in the East.

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Breast Care Centre, Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, Hong Kong, China.


Breast cancer, traditionally a disease prevalent among women in the West, has become an increasing disease burden in the East. In Hong Kong, breast cancer is the number one incident cancer in women. In Asian countries, due to the lower incidence rate, population screening is still controversial. Most screening programs are not population-based, and are either self-financed privately or partially subsidized by the government. Since the first government-subsidized screening program was set up in 1991 in Hong Kong, numerous private and government health centres for women have been set up. A dedicated private Breast Care Centre was set up at the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital (HKSH) in 1999. Over an 8-year period from October 1999 to September 2006, 14,596 women were screened, of whom 11,408 were asymptomatic. This study aims to produce the first report on breast screening experience in the largest cohort of asymptomatic Chinese women in the private sector. An overall malignancy detection rate of 2.3 per 1000 screens and a recall rate of 9.2% were found. Despite culture differences and differences in breast characteristics (denser and smaller breasts), breast screening is feasible and acceptable in the East.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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