Salut Pública in the Balearic Islands, appointing around 31,000 women in the Balearic Islands to take part in the breast cancer early detection programme.

Oct 19, 2022 | Current affairs, Featured, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

Of the 30,741 women invited in 2021 to have a mammogram, 25,321 attended the appointment, 82.37% of the total.
In 2021, the Directorate General for Public Health and Participation invited 30,741 women to participate in the Breast Cancer Early Detection Programme, of whom 25,321 (82.37 % of the users invited) attended the mammography.

Of these, 1,334 women (5.27 %) were referred to their reference centre for complementary tests. These are the figures released by the Coordination of Strategy against Cancer this week, given that today, Wednesday 19 October, is International Breast Cancer Day.

By islands, in Mallorca, out of a population of 49,070 women aged between 50 and 69, 23,052 received an appointment, 18,949 underwent the test and 982 (5.18%) were found to be positive, and therefore referred to other services for complementary tests.

In Menorca, 3,158 of the 5,391 potential women were summoned, of whom 2,687 have already taken the test. 99 cases (3.68%) were referred to complementary tests.

In Ibiza, of the 7,243 potential women to participate in the programme, 4,298 were summoned, of whom 3,468 have already taken the test and 253 (7.3%) have been referred. In Formentera, of the 539 women aged 50 to 69 living on the island, 233 were given appointments and 217 were already able to take the test.

As a novelty, since late 2020 implemented the invitation by SMS, with which the woman receives a message from the Directorate General of Public Health and Participation on early detection of breast cancer communicating the appointment for mammography, day, time and place.

Breast Cancer Early Detection Programme Resources

The Programme is managed by the technical office of the General Directorate of Public Health and Participation, made up of a coordinating doctor; 3 nurses who plan the mammography readings, manage the results and make the referral of users with positive mammograms, and 5 administrative assistants who plan and manage the appointments.

On the other hand, the Health Service has screening units in the 7 health sectors and has mammographs at the University Hospital Son Espases, the University Hospital Son Llàtzer, the Regional Hospital of Inca, the Manacor, the Mateu Orfila, the Can Misses and Formentera. In these units work for the programme 42 specialists in radiology technicians who perform mammograms, and 20 radiologists participate to make the double independent reading of each mammogram.

There are also diagnostic units in six hospitals, coordinated with the technical office. Radiology, gynaecology, surgery and pathological anatomy services are involved.

Today, 19 October, the hospitals of the Balearic Islands are holding information tables to provide information on prevention measures and the resources available to the health system to prevent breast cancer.

The most common malignant tumour in women and risk factors

Breast cancer is the most common malignant tumour in women, both worldwide and in Europe and in Western countries. The Spanish Network of Cancer Registries (REDECAN), in which the Registry of Mallorca participates, has estimated that 34,750 new cases of female breast cancer will have been diagnosed by 2022.

The risk of developing breast cancer before the age of 75 is 8% in European women (1 in 12 women) and it is the tumour that causes most deaths in women. However, mortality from breast cancer has been on a downward trend since 1992.

Numerous factors influence the risk of breast cancer.

Non-modifiable risk factors include age, endogenous hormonal factors (prolonged exposure to high concentrations of oestrogen, early onset of menarche or delayed menopause), as well as family history.

But there are other lifestyle factors, which may be risk factors or protective.

Alcohol consumption has been shown to be another risk factor for this cancer, increasing the risk in women who drink.

Studies suggest a modestly increased risk of breast cancer in women who smoke.

The presence of a higher proportion of body fat increases the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by up to 10% over non-obese women.

Exposure to ionising radiation in medical diagnostic or therapeutic procedures also increases the risk of breast cancer.

With regard to protective factors, childbirth is a protective factor and reduces the risk by 10% compared to women who have not given birth, as is breastfeeding.