GE Healthcare, the US$17 billion healthcare business of General Electric Company (GE), is highlighting the importance of early screening in the diagnosis of breast cancer by offering digital mammography reading workshops for the first time in Egypt at the Mediconex Updates on Breast Cancer and Women’s Imaging Symposium to be held at the Cairo International Conference Centre on April 7 and 8, 2008. This training initiative is in line with the global vision of GE Healthcare, which revolves around its 'Early Health' model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the world.
GE Healthcare’s training initiative supports the Egyptian Ministry of Health’s “National Breast Cancer Screening Program” vision to provide educational resources and tools to radiologists, radiographers, surgeons and other health professionals in managing breast cancer. The workshop is being held in collaboration with the Dutch National Expert and Training Center for Breast Cancer Screening (LRCB).
Egypt is one of the first countries in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region to successfully launch a breast cancer-screening program. Using GE’s digital mammography mobile solution, local healthcare professionals readily travel from city to city, with the target to reach more women for breast cancer assessment. The imaging data transfer is done via satellite transmission to a center for analysis and diagnosis. It is one of the first programs in Europe to implement images transmission via satellite.
Nearly 20 per cent of all oncology cases reported in Egypt are breast cancer-related, signaling the challenges facing the medical sector in treating this condition. The National Cancer Institute reports that breast cancer is most common among Egyptian women1. According to industry experts, the five-year survival rate in cases of early detection of breast cancer is 95 per cent. By actively supporting breast care clinicians through continuing education, GE Healthcare is responding to this health burden.
“Education is key to increasing the rate of breast cancer detection and promoting the concept of early health. These digital mammography workshops will help doctors assess their image reading skills and educational needs. The National Screening Program was completely new in Egypt and indeed elsewhere in the Middle East, as no one had mobile screening units. My plan now is to create an academy to continue this work and deliver the message about the benefits of breast cancer screening for women in the Middle East,” said Dr. Dorria Salem, Professor of Radiology at Cairo University and Director of the National Breast Screening Program in Egypt.GE Healthcare plays an instrumental role in supporting the National Screening Program since its inception in October 2007, under the sponsorship of Mrs. Mubarak.
Two specialists from the LRBC, Professor Roland Holland MD PhD and Mrs. Henny Rijken, will direct GE’s innovative digital mammography workshops. Together, they will provide participating clinicians with the opportunity to interact and review cancer cases using GE’s high-end digital review stations.
Dr. Holland reiterates the importance of continued training and education, noting that the cost of late-stage treatment of breast cancer (stage four) can be five to six times higher than treatment following early diagnosis in stage one. “Early screening solutions enable physicians to intervene before breast cancer advances on its deadly course. Digital mammography and CAD (Computer Aided Detection) use is growing throughout the world and educational workshops such as this at Mediconex 2008 will meet the increasing needs of breast care professionals particularly in Egypt,” he said. GE Healthcare is one of the only manufacturers in the industry today providing the entire mammography imaging chain from tube, detector to review workstation, and integrates the comprehensive local requirements for each customer. GE Healthcare offers one of the most advanced multi-modality technologies for breast care mammography. GE’s Senographe was the first and only full-field digital mammography system designed to meet all clinical needs, from screening to diagnostic and interventional procedures. Senographe and Seno Advantage 2 multi-modality breast imaging workstation are cornerstones of GE’s digital mammography offering, and are an integral part of the successful Egyptian Screening Program.
“Around the world, more than 1.2 million people annually are diagnosed with breast cancer. We are pleased to support this worthwhile country initiative in promoting awareness and education around this prevalent preventable disease,” said Sameh Gabra, Country Manager Egypt, Libya & Sudan at GE Healthcare. “GE’s ‘Healthcare Re-Imagined’ vision is providing practical applications in Egypt through its digital mammography mobile system. The professional local team involved in this Ministry of Health Screening Program travel to rural and remote locations in their mobile trailers, which enables them to assess and treat their patients earlier. This is what the ‘Early Health’ model of care is all about,” he concluded.
The digital mammography workshops offered by the LRBC and GE Healthcare are open to breast care and radiology specialists from across the region during the Mediconex “Updates on Breast Cancer and Women’s Imaging” Symposium. The conference includes a strong scientific program with state-of-the-art interactive presentations to highlight screening diagnosis, treatment and prevention of breast cancer.
About GE Healthcare: GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform, treat and monitor disease, so patients can live their lives to the fullest. GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a US$17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com .