Mammography is considered to be the most effective method for early detection of small malignant lesions in the female breast. Detection of mammary cancer at an early stage is the single most important approach in increasing survival.
Mammography practice in Kenya is mostly carried out for clinical diagnosis, rather than for prevention. Almost always, mammograms are ordered after the patient has already reported abnormal findings. This is to confirm the diagnosis while it should be done as a preventive measure.
There are only 15 centers that offer mammography services in Kenya today. Sadly, the major centers are located in the major city of Nairobi where the patient workload is considerably high, approximately 70% of all other centers. This is because most patients from all over the country converge in Nairobi where such services are available for a premium price. It should also be noted that about 70% of all doctors in Kenya today practice in Nairobi.
GM Medical in conjunction with Cancer Free Women foundation is working to double the number of mammography centers in Kenya in the next 5 years. We realize that the best way to improve standards of living and economy is to strengthen women welfare.
Donors and sponsors are encouraged to participate in either sponsoring patient testing or buying equipment for remote cities that are underserved or not served at all. Education is also needed in Kenya about the importance of mammography and breast self examinations (BSE)
It is recommended that women with family history of breast cancer from either side of their parents to get annual mammogram from age 30. All other women should get annual mammogram from age 40. Mammograms can decrease breast cancer mortality by 30% if used as preventive measure, rather than a tool to confirm diagnosis.