The ICA initiated the National Mammography Screening Project and through ICA's "Invitation to Life" project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and healthcare funds, women in the target age group are personally invited to undergo a mammography exam.
The national mammography screening program, along with ICA ongoing information campaigns, helped to significantly raise the level of awareness and compliance to early detection. To date, within the framework of this national program, over 5,000,000 examinations have been carried out. 72% of the women diagnosed were in the early stages of the disease with a very high chance of recovery.
Upon the inception of the project we found that substantial gaps existed in the compliance rates to undergo mammography screening between women living in the central region of the country and those residing in the more remote areas.
To tackle this concern, the ICA purchased a Mobile Mammography Unit, "Michal", with the intent to increase screening compliance rates among women of the appropriate age, and among unique sectors of the female population - particularly in geographical and social peripheries such as in Arab villages, in towns in the geographical periphery, where there is a high percentage of new immigrants, and in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.
The current data indicate a significant reduction in the gaps between these sectors since the outset of the mobile unit's activity. The WHO survey of the European region in 2009 revealed that Israel leads in mammography compliance rates, while taking into consideration the narrowed gaps between different sectors of the population.
In 2011 the disparity in mammography compliance rates was completely eliminated between the Arab and Jewish female populations in Israel and cure rates have risen significantly. Most importantly, over the past decade, breast cancer mortality rates have dropped by 30% among Jewish women, and as reported recently, by 25% among Arab women.
The Assuta and ICA-run Mobile Mammography Unit conducted a record number of mammography screenings this year, in 180 towns - from Metulla in the North to Eilat in the South. Over 16,000 women from across Israel underwent a potentially life-saving screening test in the Mobile Mammography Unit this year.
For more information about the importance of the mammography screening test and to schedule an appointment please click here (in Hebrew).