MAMMOGRAPHY EXAMINATION IN GHANA: PRELIMINARY SURVEY OF PATIENTS’ PROFILES
ABSTRACT Profiles of 1,671 patients undergoing diagnostic mammography examination at three centres in Accra between May and December 2009 were analysed as preliminary survey to formulate a National Breast Screening Policy for Ghana. Employment category, age, body mass index, clinical history and diagnosis were indices used in the survey. The age profile of the patients ranged from 22 to 90 years, with an average of 51 years, and at 95 % confidence interval, the variance in age was 0.01. The dominant age groups of the patients surveyed were 46 - 50 years (23 %), 41 - 45 years (21 %) and 51 - 55 years (20 %). From the body mass indices, 34 % of the patients were overweight, 49 % were obese, 16 % were of normal weight and only 1 % was under weight. By the clinical history and diagnosis, about 25 % of the cases were attributed to mastalgia (pain in the breast), 4 % already diagnosed of breast cancer, while 45 % were undergoing assessment and evaluation. The probability of an obese individual to develop breast cancer out of the entire population was p = 0.0036. The profiles indicated that breast screening awareness programmes should be targeted towards women between of ages of 41 - 60 years.