Rural, nomadic women get free breast cancer screening, prevention services

July 3, 2019

TEHRAN – Rural and nomadic women in the country can enjoy free of charge breast cancer screening tests and prevention services for one year, Mehr reported on Monday.

According to an agreement signed between the vice presidency for women’s and family affairs and the health ministry, breast cancer screening tests and prevention services are covered by Iran’s Universal Public Health Insurance scheme (Salamat Health Insurance).

The head of cancer department at the health ministry, Ali Motlaq, has said 40 to 50 percent of cancers in the country are preventable.

Breast, colorectal cancer and cervical cancers, which include 40 percent of cancers among women, can be prevented, he explained.

According to the health ministry’s data released in October 2018, breast cancer is the most common cancer among Iranian women and about 14 thousand cases are added to the number of patients with breast cancer in the country annually.

The survival rate of women with breast cancer, five year after the diagnosis, in developed countries is 90 percent and in Iran is 70 percent. That means out of every 10 people with breast cancer 9 people in developed countries and seven people are still alive after 5 years.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), so far the only breast cancer screening method that has proved to be effective is mammography screening. Mammography screening is very costly and is cost-effective and feasible in countries with good health infrastructure that can afford a long-term organized population-based screening programs.

Low-cost screening approaches, such as clinical breast examination, could be implemented in limited-resource settings when the necessary evidence from ongoing studies becomes available.

Many low- and middle-income countries that face the double burden of cervical and breast cancer need to implement combined cost-effective and affordable interventions to tackle these highly preventable diseases.

SB/MG

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