Over 350 women had signed up for the two-day camp, initiated by BMC health committee chairperson Geeta Gawli, before time constraints resulted in only 125 being screened. Most of the women diagnosed with the cysts were over 40 in a cross-section where the age ranged between between 30 and 60.
“Breast cancer continues to be a taboo subject among most women, but there was a lot of positive response we got from the women in the BMC. Those diagnosed with the abnormalities immediately took it up with their doctors and are getting the necessary treatment,” Gawli said. “Incidence of breast cancer is steadily growing in our country, especially in cities. The aim was to spread awareness and we were surprised to see so many women sign up for the screening. The fact that so many women were found to have abnormalities is indicative of the importance of screening.”
A NoTouch scan machine was installed for the camp. It is now likely to be installed in all major as well as peripheral hospitals of the BMC. Approved by the US FDA, the machine is contact-less and radiation-free, and essentially works as an imaging device.
“Mammograms are painful and many women prefer not to come forward for screening whether the doctor is a man or a woman,” a BMC official said. “This machine, being contact-free, ensures privacy. The machine scan lasts about 20 minutes and gives a detailed report of the size and location of the cyst. The price of the machine though is above Rs 70 lakh and its installation in hospitals is being discussed.”