MJM, Vol 70 Supplement 1 September 2015
Community Breast Cancer Screening: The Role of NGOs
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya
Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA) of Malaysia is an NGO that is actively providing breast health education and breast cancer screening to women in the community, and support in various kinds to breast cancer survivors. Since 2011 BCWA had launched a breast health education program complete with training on breast self-examination (BSE) and provision of clinical breast examination (CBE) to women in the community. The uniqueness of this programme which is known as MURNI is that the program is brought to the doorsteps of the community in a pink bus which had been converted to serve as a mobile clinic. Another specialty of MURNI is the delivery of the programme by retired nurses and volunteers among the breast cancer survivors. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of MURNI program in enhancing the knowledge on breast cancer and its screening methods, and in increasing the uptake of BSE, CBE and mammogram. A quasi-experimental study and a cross-sectional study to compare the usual Opportunistic CBE screenings conducted by Ministry of Health and MURNI programme in detecting breast abnormality were conducted, respectively. The findings on the change in knowledge regarding breast cancer and the uptake of BSE and CBE were significant among the women who were given MURNI interventions. The detection rates for CBE abnormality among those screened through opportunistic CBE screening were shown to be significantly lower than those screened by the outreach CBE screening in the MURNI program. The role of NGO in community screening for breast cancer is important especially among females at rural areas. Collaboration with the NGO could enhance breast health education and make breast cancer screening accessible for women. There is potential for the outreach CBE screening programme in increasing early detection of breast cancer in a developing country.