Author(s): Stephen Sixto Siguan, M.D., F.P.C.S.*; Saleshe Tracy Anne Baking-Fernandez, M.D., F.P.C.S.*; Rina O. Kotake, M.D.* and Maria Christina D. Gravador, M.D., F.P.A.F.P
The objective of the study was to describe the incorporation of breast cancer screening program in the medical curriculum of a medical school and determine its feasibility in finding breast cancer.
From school year 2011 – 2012, a 3-hour module that assesses third year medical students’ proficiency in clinical breast examination (CBE) was incorporated into the pre-clinical clerkship program at the Cebu Institute of Medicine. The students who have satisfactorily completed the module were invited to participate in the Breast Cancer Control Outreach Program (BCAcop). Pertinent data included: number of participating consultants and students, number of patients seen as well as their demographic and clinical profile, breast cancer cases found.
Four BCAcop were conducted and 6 consultants supervised the medical students in the CBE modules and BCAcop. Seventy-seven medical students passed the CBE module and participated in BCAcop. A total of 254 patients with age range of 8 to 80 (mean32 years) attended the lay forum while 246 patients (96.9%) consulted at the on-site breast clinic. Among those examined, 146 patients (59.3%) had essentially normal breasts. Fibrocystic change was the most frequent diagnosis with 49 patients (19.9%), followed by fibroadenoma with 34 patients (13.8%). Six patients (2.4%) were suspected to have breast cancer. Four patients (66.7%) proceeded to have a biopsy and were confirmed. Two patients availed of treatment.
Incorporating breast cancer screening program in the medical school curriculum encourages medical students to participate in breast cancer control outreaches where their basic knowledge and skills on clinical breast exam are reinforced with actual patient contact. Furthermore, women with breast cancer are found and offered treatment through this program.
Key words: Breast cancer awareness, community outreach, clinical breast exam, medical students