Original articles

Performance data of screening mammography at a dedicated breast health centre

Justus P Apffelstaedt


Mammographic screening has become part of routine health care. We present a first analysis of screening mammography in a dedicated breast health centre in Africa. All mammography performed between 2003 and August 2003 was entered into a prospective database. Mammography was performed exclusively by certified mammographers and double read by experienced readers. Outcomes were classified in a simplified classification system based on BIRADS. In 40-49 year old women, 3192 mammograms led to a recall rate of 4.7%, a biopsy rate of 1.9% and a cancer diagnosis rate of 3.8 per 1000 examinations; for women 50 years and older, these figures were 4446, 5.4%, 2.6% and 9.7 per 1000. Of cancers detected, 31% were in-situ and of invasive cancers, 81% were node-negative. These figures established by a dedicated, surgeon-led team fall within the range expected in organized screening programs in resource-rich environments and provide a first benchmark for screening mammography in Africa.

Author's affiliations

Justus P Apffelstaedt, University of Stellenbosch

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Screening, Benchmarking,

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2008;98(12):950.

Article History

Date submitted: 2008-10-07
Date published: 2008-12-09

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