National Mammography Day: law guarantees access to breast cancer prevention
In addition to the actions of the October Rose campaign, National Mammography Day (February 5) was instituted two years ago to sensitize women about the importance of conducting the screening for the early detection of breast cancer. Data from the National Cancer Institute (Inca) state that in the year 2018 59,700 new cases of this type of cancer were expected in Brazil, representing 29% of the tumors that affect women.
“Breast cancer is a disease caused by the disordered multiplication of breast cells. This process generates abnormal cells that multiply, forming a tumor. There are several types of breast cancer. Therefore, the disease can evolve in different ways. Some types have rapid development, while others grow more slowly, “explains the Inca.
Another important piece of information on breast cancer is related to prevention. According to the Brazilian Society of Mastology (SBM), a Swedish study recently published in the Cancer Journal by Tabar and Cols revealed that women who undergo mammography die less than those who do not routinely take the test.
“In women diagnosed with breast cancer who underwent mammography periodically, the reduction in mortality from this disease was 60% at 10 years after diagnosis compared to those who did not take the test regularly. The survey also showed that the reduction in mortality from this disease was 47% in 20 years after the diagnosis compared to those who did not routinely perform the test, “said the Journal.
Regarding access to the preventive examination in Brazil, Law No. 11.664/08 provides “on the implementation of health actions that ensure the prevention, detection, treatment and follow-up of cancers of the uterine cervix and breast, within the scope of the Unified Health System”.
The standard assures mammography to all women from the age of 40, however, in practice, Brazil has low rates of examination, especially in 2017.
Researchers from the Brazilian Society of Mastology (SBM), in partnership with the Brazilian Mastology Research Network, pointed out that the percentage of mammographic coverage in 2017 among women in the 50-69 age group attended by SUS is the lowest in the last five years.
“To get an idea, 11.5 million mammograms were expected and only 2.7 million were performed, a coverage of 24.1%, well below the 70% recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO),” the SBM reports. .
The lack of balance between the regions means that women from the North and Midwest continue to have the lowest coverage when compared to the others, given the difficulty in scheduling and performing mammography.
“The three worst states were Amapá, which carried out only 260 exams in detriment of the expected 24 thousand, followed by the Federal District, with 5 thousand made when they were expected 158.7 thousand, and Rondônia, whose expectation was to make 76.9 thousand, but only 5,700 were made, “SBM says.
On the other hand, in populations that have access to periodic preventive mammography, the number of deaths from the disease decreases from 15% to 45%.
“The SBM recommends that the annual examination should start at age 40, but in cases where the patient has a family history of breast cancer (such as mother, father, sister) the mammogram should be started at least 10 years before of the age at which the family member presented the disease, “he concludes.
To know more about the laws that guarantee access to treatment, watch the video with the mastologist Maria Assunção.
*** Data on the number of examinations performed in 2017 were collected from the DATASUS Outpatient Information System (SIA), according to procedure codes 0204030030 (Mammography) and 0204030188 (Bilateral Mammography for Tracing). The number of exams expected was calculated according to the number of women aged 50-69 years and INCA recommendations for biennial screening (BRAZIL, 2017). For the calculation of the number of exams expected, it was considered 58.9% of the target population, in view of INCA recommendations.