Call edition 2012
A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.
When a woman detects a lump in her breast she may hope that it will disappear spontaneously or remain benign, but it is much better to consult a doctor and obtain a correct diagnosis. Sometimes careful palpation might suffice but usually other examinations are indicated. In Western countries mammography and ultrasonography are routinely applied as well as fine needle aspiration. The needle is introduced into the lump and the aspirated cells are then examined under the microscope. This simple and cheap method can be applied at the first visit and allows a diagnosis after a short time interval. Very often, a surgical biopsy can thus be avoided.
Dr. Bowa Kasonde has introduced needle aspiration biopsy in Zambia. He carefully analysed the results obtained from the first 73 women and described them in his work " A study of fine needle aspiration cytology of breast lumps in the University Teaching Hospital".
His work demonstrates convincingly that the good results obtained by this method in Western countries, can be reproduced in his country. It turned out that 96 % of the benign tumors were diagnosed by this puncture as well as 74 % of the malignant ones. Importantly, this method was well accepted by all the women which guarantees a smooth introduction on a wider scale.
The fact that this method is not only easy and safe, but also inexpensive, is even more important in a country like Zambia where mammography is not yet available and surgical specialists are still scarce.
No doubt the work of Dr. Bowa Kasonde will contribute to the development of a better medical care for the women of Zambia, where breast cancer is a common problem as well.
report by Prof. Dr. Ivo De Wever, Oncologic surgery, Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven