The Kuwait National Mammography Screening Program (KNMSP) is a nation-wide, organized breast screening program that provides high quality breast screening services for women aged 40 and older.
In 2014, our mammography screening program was launched and provided in the 5 governorates of Kuwait. The intent was to foster the delivery of cancer screening services closer to the point of care, improve efficiencies, and ensure greater accountability. The program has focused on strategic planning, building the infrastructure, information management and evaluation, with support from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) as part of a 2-year agreement with Ministry of Health, Kuwait.
Within this context, the KNMSP’s aim was to provide high quality services to meet high international standards for early detection of small invasive breast cancer in asymptomatic women. In addition, for women with positive screens, the time from screening to diagnosis is aimed to be shorter than for women outside the screening program.
In Kuwait, breast cancer is the most common female malignancy. Between January and December 2011, 410 breast cancer cases recorded by Kuwait cancer registry accounted for about 20.0 % of all cancers and 39.0% of cancers among females . One in seven Kuwaiti women will develop cancer by the age 75), which attributed to the need for mammography screening program in Kuwait.
The key aim for the KNMSP is the reduction of mortality from breast cancer through the delivery of high quality screening. Regular breast screening finds cancers when they are small and less likely to have spread. Therefore, early detection means that most women have more treatment options, a reduced chance of cancer recurrence and an improved chance of survival.
Technological advances in radiology and its implementation in Kuwait radiology departments in general and in the KNMSP in particular play a major factor in influencing how KNMSP operates, e.g. the fiber-optic network PACS system (Picture Archiving and Communication System) between the breast imaging centers in the polyclinics and the main reading center in Al-Sabah health region. All patient and exam information is archived at the KNMSP Center and used to register and report cases, provide immediate access to priors for reporting radiologists and also access to all reports and image data. The aim of the program is to implement an efficient filmless and paperless Mammography Screening solution for Ministry of Health hospitals in Kuwait.
As an organized cancer screening program, the KNMSP issues recall notices for screening, notifies women of their screening results, and facilitates those women with abnormal screens to move through the diagnostic stage and arrange any additional imaging or tissue sampling required.
Screening services are delivered at 5 polyclinics, one in each of the Kuwait 5 medical health regions. These breast units, staff and equipment are monitored on ongoing basis by the main center which is situated in Al-Sabah medical health region to insure the delivery of high quality mammograms as part of the screening program.
The success of the KNMSP comes from the skill and commitment of our staff and the enthusiastic contributions of our professional community and most importantly the support of Ministry of Health leaders represented by Dr. Ali Alobaidi, the Minister of Health and Dr. Khaled Al-Sahlawy, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Head of the standing committee of Kuwait National Mammography Screening Program