Low cost education of public and health staff enhances detection of early stage breast cancer, study shows.
Finding cancer early is arguably the most effective tool to date to save lives and minimise mortality. Early diagnosis and referral to specialists from first line health clinics have a far greater prognostic impact compared to fighting cancer in its late stages.
Until there’s a cure for cancer all together, we are many in the community devoted to fighting this disease. One successful approach is clinical downstaging. Meaning: Finding the cancer at its earlier stages. But how?
Health staff training and public awareness downstaged breast cancer
A pilot study in Sarawak, Malaysia, used training of health staff and public awareness to successfully downstage breast cancer and cervical cancer.
“The program consisted of (i) training health staff in hospital and rural clinics to improve their skills in early cancer detection, (ii) raising public awareness through pamphlets, posters and sensitization by health staff.”
The health staff was responsible for a population of around one million people. The staff was trained during a two day period, learning both theoretical and practical aspects of three cancers; NPC, breast and cervix cancer.
“Data analysis revealed that the program achieved downstaging in two of the cancers. Breast cancer in stage III and IV was reduced from 60% (1994) to 35% (1998) (P < 0.0001) and cervical cancer in stage III and IV from 60% (1994) to 26% (1998) (P < 0.0001). This reduced the region’s late-stage presentation for breast and cervix cancer by half over a period of 4 years.“
Although this study was done quite a few years ago, it shows how quick a cost effective approach can enhance cancer findings in earlier stages, especially in rural areas where access to proper screening programs are less than optimal.
We are committed to clinically downstaging breast cancer
Thermaiscan is painfully aware of this issue in low- and middle income countries, where the result of insufficient screenings are, in fact, deadly.
We are committed to finding innovative solutions that will promote clinical downstaging in breast cancer.
Read the study in it’s whole here:
2007 European Society for Medical Oncology. Published by Elsevier Inc.
“Reducing by half the percentage of late-stage presentation for breast and cervix cancer over 4 years: a pilot study of clinical downstaging in Sarawak, Malaysia“
B.C.R. Devi, T.S. Tang M. Corbex