Aug 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Health has started a breast cancer screening programme for early detection of the disease as 25 percent of about 15,000 diagnosed cancer patients in Sri Lanka are women with breast cancer.
The Ministry says a free service of mammography screening to detect early breast cancer in women will be started at Narahenpita Cancer Unit from September 01.
The equipment needed for the screening have been installed at the Unit and are functioning, a spokesman of the unit has said.
The Narahenpita Cancer Unit provides screening tests free of charge to the individuals, especially to women who are prone to breast and cervical cancer.
Ministry of Health statistics point out that 10,000 to 15,000 new cancer patients are identified each year in Sri Lanka.
Out of the total, around 2,400 are women with cervical cancer and another 1,200 are diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Health Ministry says one woman in the country dies every four days due to either breast or cervical cancer although both cancers are treatable if detected early.
The Ministry points out that around 30 percent of the diagnosed breast cancer patients die early since the cancer is diagnosed at late stages and 90 percent of the women in the country do not take advantage of the free services offered by the health services to detect the cancer early.
Health authorities recommend biennial screening mammography for women aged 50 to 74 years.
The Ministry urges the older female population of the country to use the free facilities provided by the government to have a medical exam at least once a year.