National campaign on breast cancer awareness and screening is being conducted by MEWATA. Three regions have been covered; Dar es salaam, Mwanza and Mbeya. This breast cancer educational program is conducted through partnership with a private television station ITV/Radio One, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and many outstanding stakeholders who have contributed financially and materially to the success of the program. This has resulted in a generalized increase in breast cancer awareness in the country with influx of women in hospitals to demand for breast screening services.
In particular the following have been reported as benefits for women who participated in the campaign:
1. Participants were taught to perform a Breast Self Examination (BSE) by themselves on a monthly basis. Women were advised to conduct BSE once a month preferably 3-5 days after their menstrual period and for those who are post menopause they need to choose one fixed date each month for BSE.
2. During breast self examination women were advised to identify abnormal features on their breasts such as swellings, changes on the skin of their breasts, nipple discharge if any, and in case they see any of the above mentioned signs they were advised to report to the nearest health facility the soonest.
3. For women above 40 years it was recommended apart from BSE and Breast Clinican Examination (BCE) they could also benefit from a screening mammography yearly or biannual (in places where it is available in Tanzania).
4. Women present at the sites benefited from obtaining health education on issues related to breast cancer such as risk associated to breast cancer, symptoms and signs; possible treatment and preventive measures to minimize chances of breast cancer.