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Breast cancer third biggest killer of women! Men can get it, too!

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th November 2001 03:00 AM

SIR— Breast cancer is the third commonest cancer in women in Uganda next to cancer of the cervix and kaposi’s sarcoma.

SIR— Breast cancer is the third commonest cancer in women in Uganda next to cancer of the cervix and kaposi’s sarcoma.

SIR— Breast cancer is the third commonest cancer in women in Uganda next to cancer of the cervix and kaposi’s sarcoma. The incidence of breast cancer has dominated since 1961 to 1995, according to the cancer registry at Makerere Medical School. Men can also get breast cancer. Unfortunately, most patients present late so the out come of treatment is unsatisfactory. Yet it is imperative that efforts are made to detect the disease early and improve patient management. Early diagnosis improves patient survival. Mammography (x-ray of the breasts) has been found useful in developed countries; but is not applicable in our country as a means of mass screening because it is expensive. It is available at only two health facilities in Uganda, Mulago and breast self-examination is practical and affordable and should be advocated in our context. Public education would be useful so that people learn to recognise breast symptoms that may suggest breast cancer. All health workers in Uganda need to take patients with breast symptoms seriously. Peripheral health units should refer such patients to doctors who should also refer the patients for expert management if cancer is suspected or diagnosed. The management of breast cancer has continued to be controversial. Sensing the need the streamline breast cancer management in the Ugandan context, a group of doctors got together to establish a more standardised way dealing with the problem. Their main objective was to improve the quality of breast cancer patients and their families. This was done in order to enable early detection, harmonised treatment and referral of breast cancer patients. It was also aimed at creating a reference document for health workers dealing with breast cancer. There is need to discuss these guidelines with all the health professionals. Therefore a full day workshop has been organised for this purpose. It will take place at Grand Imperial Hotel, Kampala today beginning at 8am. This will include discussions on clinical assessment staging investigations, classification of breast cancer, management of the different stages of breast cancer, breast cancer occurring during pregnancy, breast imaging and palliative care in breast cancer. This is all in the interest of breast cancer patients and their families. Dr E. Kiguli Malwadde Radiologist, Mulago Hospital

Breast cancer third biggest killer of women! Men can get it, too!

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