Ukrainian women can be checked for breast cancer for free: instructions from the Ministry of Health
Statistics show that more than 16,000 Ukrainian women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. It is one of the most common cancers among women. The good news is that in case of early detection, the chances of recovery are 95%. To do this, you need to undergo a high-quality examination, including a mammogram.
That is why the Ministry of Health has launched a campaign to provide free screening for Ukrainian women. Here's how to make an appointment.
What is mammography?
A mammogram is an X-ray examination of the mammary glands using a special apparatus. It is called a mammograph. It can be used to detect both malignant and benign tumours and abnormal tissue development in the mammary glands at the initial stages.
The radiation dose during such an examination is very low. Therefore, it is recognised as completely safe and doctors recommend undergoing it once a year.
How to make an appointment for mammography. Instructions
Mammography is one of the six free examinations for early detection of cancer that the Ukrainian state provides under the Medical Guarantee Programme. To undergo this examination, a woman needs to take the following steps:
- Apply for a referral to a family doctor with whom she has signed a declaration, or to a primary care doctor (general practitioner/family doctor, paediatrician) if she does not have such a declaration or has lost contact with her "family doctor".
- For certain indications, a referral may also be issued by the attending physician.
- Important: during martial law, a referral can be issued not only electronically, but also in paper form.
- After that, a woman can choose a hospital where it would be convenient for her to undergo an examination. The place of registration or actual residence of the woman is not important - she can choose a medical facility in any region of Ukraine that has the appropriate equipment and an agreement with the NHSU.
- You can find out about the institutions that provide mammography under the state programme by calling the NHSU contact centre at 16-77.
- After that, you can undergo the examination on an outpatient basis and free of charge.
What is included in the mammography service
According to the state programme, Ukrainian women undergo mammography together with a full consultation with a doctor. So, before the examination, a woman should visit a mammologist and, if available, provide him with previous examinations - ultrasound images and the results of previous mammograms. The doctor will analyse this information.
The mammogram is performed in two projections, and if necessary, images in additional projections and targeted images should be taken.
The results of the examination are analysed and described by a specialist. He or she should also give recommendations for further examination and, if necessary, make referrals for other medical services.
The images taken should be recorded on digital media, which the woman receives after the examination.
How often do I need to be screened for breast cancer?
Since breast cancer can occur at any age, doctors recommend regular preventive examinations.
Women over the age of 20 should perform breast self-examination every month. Instructions on how to do this can be found here. Important: self-examination is performed on days 6-12 of the menstrual cycle.
In addition to self-examination, women over 40 years of age should undergo an annual mammogram upon referral.
A doctor can also prescribe a referral for this test for younger patients if he or she suspects a neoplasm.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, surgeon Andriy Yakobchuk explained in detail what the mammary gland is and how it functions. He also gave advice on how to properly monitor breast health throughout life.