Breast cancer screening: modeling improvement of access using mobile mammography units

da Cunha et al.


To investigate the impact of combined use of fixed and mobile mammography units to rationalize the management of breast cancer screening programs and increase population coverage.


An observational study was performed using agents-based modeling. The model was used to simulate breast cancer screening coverage in a specific region in the state of Rio de Janeiro (região serrana) where 22 fixed mammography units are installed. The number and distribution of fixed and mobile units, as well as the required number of daily exams, were estimated considering a population coverage of 100% and 60% in the region for the 2015-2016 biennium.


For the two-year period, a 60% population coverage could be reached with eight mammography units (five fixed and three mobile). Considering a scenario in which 100% of the eligible population would undergo screening, 11 units would be required (seven fixed and four mobile units). The actual coverage in the region for the 2015-2016 biennium was 36.4%, with 22 mammography units performing four exams daily.


The present simulation showed that it would be possible to reduce by half the number of mammography units in the region, ensuring 100% coverage. Adding more mobile units would facilitate access by the population from cities without installed mammography units and from rural areas.

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