Stakeholders Meeting Report
Breast cancer is the second leading cause in cancer incidence and mortality for women in Uganda, but what is striking is that studies have shown Ugandan (and African and African-American) women develop cancer at a very young age (peak age group of 30-39 according to a study from Mulago Hospital, Kampala). Women have also been shown to present late for care with advanced stage cancers. The goal of this project is to detect breast cancer at earlier stages when there are more effective treatment options. Breast cancer guidelines for Uganda emphasize the importance of education on breast health care and self-breast examination. The guidelines also emphasize the importance of ultrasound in the diagnostic work-up given that it is the most readily available breast-imaging tool in Uganda.
Our project objectives were well received by the stakeholders and we had a lively discussion that generated great ideas for improving the project, which Mary is going to share. Briefly, the project objectives include: introduce a breast health care algorithm and referral system for women who present with a breast mass in the rural setting, introduce and establish volume-based breast ultrasound scan protocols to be performed at the rural clinics, train district or regional hospital doctors to perform ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration (FNA) and core biopsies, educate the community about breast health care and available resources, identify community barriers to utilizing or accessing breast health care and collaborate with inter-disciplinary teams in Uganda to publish the results.
-- Ginger Merry