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Int J Cancer. 2014 Mar 1;134(5):1250-5. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28442. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Short report: Limited effectiveness of screening mammography in addition to clinical breast examination by trained nurse midwives in rural Jakarta, Indonesia.

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National Cancer Center, Dharmais Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia.


Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are undergoing an increase in incidence of breast cancer, but have inadequate resources to implement mammographic screening. Clinical breast examination (CBE) has been suggested as an alternative to mammography in these settings. We compared the results of CBE screening by 47 midwives and 15 trained lay health workers to results of independently performed mammographic screening in an unscreened population of 1,179 women in Jakarta, Indonesia. Two hundred and eight-nine (24.5%) of the screened women had a suspicious finding on CBE and/or mammography. Sixty-nine (23.9%) of these women had both an abnormal CBE and mammogram; 98 (33.9%) had an abnormal CBE, but a normal mammogram; and 122 (42.2%) had a normal CBE and an abnormal mammogram. Fourteen breast cancers were diagnosed. Of these, 13 were identified by both mammogram and CBE. One breast cancer was identified from an abnormal mammogram, but had a normal CBE. One hundred and sixty-seven (14.2%) of the CBEs required additional work-up to diagnose 13 of the 14 cancers detected by mammography. In comparison, 191 (16.2%) of mammograms required additional work-up to diagnose the 14 cancers. Unfortunately, only 42.8% of the women diagnosed with cancer returned for treatment. In an unscreened population in LMICs such as Indonesia, CBE is nearly as effective as mammography in detecting prevalent breast cancers. However identifying and overcoming barriers to appropriate treatment of women who are identified as having breast cancer are essential to the success of any screening program.


breast cancer; clinic breast examinations (CBE); low-to-middle income countries; mammography

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