Introduction and objectives There is no formal breast screening program currently in Lebanon. This report describes the outcomes of a screening mammography initiative implemented by one Lebanese non-governmental organization. The objectives were to assess the socio-demographic and reproductive characteristics associated with repeating a screening mammography after receiving reassuring results from a first one, and to estimate, for the first time in Lebanon, the proportion of mammographies suggesting malignancy which could be obtained from a mass screening activity.
Methods A total of 1500 women participated in the “Faire Face” screening initiative between 2002 and 2009, which allowed them to obtain repeated annual mammographies free of charge.
Results Of participants, 58% repeated the test at least once even after receiving reassuring results. Factors associated with test repetition were older age, fewer children and retirement but not housewife or employed status. Results were suspicious (ACR4 or 5) in 2.4% of cases.
Discussion and conclusions The proportion of suspicious readings on mammograms which require further investigation was similar to European figures. Evidence shows that, given the opportunity, increasingly more women of younger ages are willing to undergo the required annual test, and to repeat it. Several issues have to be debated nationally including lowering the financial barriers to mammography for all women regardless of their socio-demographic backgrounds, and improving the opening hours of mammography test centers to attract working women or those with larger families, and therefore with limited free time in the morning.
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