Breast Camps for Awareness and Early Diagnosis of Breast Cancer in Countries With Limited Resources: A Multidisciplinary Model From Kenya

Document Type



Pathology (East Africa); General Surgery (East Africa)


Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer of women in Kenya. There are no national breast cancer early diagnosis programs in Kenya.

Objective: The objective was to conduct a pilot breast cancer awareness and diagnosis program at three different types of facilities in Kenya.

Methods: This program was conducted at a not-for-profit private hospital, a faith-based public hospital, and a government public referral hospital. Women aged 15 years and older were invited. Demographic, risk factor, knowledge, attitudes, and screening practice data were collected. Breast health information was delivered, and clinical breast examinations (CBEs) were performed. When appropriate, ultrasound imaging, fine-needle aspirate (FNA) diagnoses, core biopsies, and onward referrals were provided.

Results: A total of 1,094 women were enrolled in the three breast camps. Of those, 56% knew the symptoms and signs of breast cancer, 44% knew how breast cancer was diagnosed, 37% performed regular breast self-exams, and 7% had a mammogram or breast ultrasound in the past year. Of the 1,094 women enrolled, 246 (23%) had previously noticed a lump in their breast. A total of 157 participants (14%) had abnormal CBEs, of whom 111 had ultrasound exams, 65 had FNAs, and 18 had core biopsies. A total of 14 invasive breast cancers and 1 malignant phyllodes tumor were diagnosed

Conclusion: Conducting a multidisciplinary breast camp awareness and early diagnosis program is feasible in different types of health facilities within a low- and middle-income country setting. This can be a model for breast cancer awareness and point-of-care diagnosis in countries with limited resources like Kenya.

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