Women starting mammography on time, but failing to follow up

September 13, 2004

A new study finds most women now follow the recommendation to receive their first screening mammogram at age 40, but there is widespread failure to return promptly for subsequent exams and several sub-populations of women still are not being screened by the recommended age. The authors say their findings, published September 13, 2004 in the online edition of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, suggest there is little to be gained from population-wide efforts to encourage entry into the screening process, and that public health efforts should focus on the sub-populations at highest risk of inadequate screening. The abstract of this article will be freely accessible via the CANCER News Room (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/cancer-newsroom) upon online publication.

While annual screening mammography for breast cancer has been demonstrated to save lives and is recommended for women 40 and over by the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and the American Medical Association, recent studies demonstrate that relatively few women over 40 actually have screening mammograms every year. Also, no studies have investigated at what age women actually begin screening. James Michaelson, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) led a team of investigators to assess the long-term pattern of screening mammography use by 72,417 women at the MGH Avon Comprehensive Breast Center between 1985 and 2002.

The study's data were reassuring. Over 60 percent of women had their first mammogram by age 40 and 90 percent by age 50. Specific sub-populations, however, delayed mammography. Women who did not speak English did not begin screening mammography until a median age of 49. Women who did not have private health insurance did not begin screening until age 46. Women who did not speak English and who did not have private health insurance did not begin screening until a median age of 55. Women without a primary care doctor began at age 42. African-Americans, Hispanics and obese women began at age 41.

Only 16 percent of women had five mammograms in five years, while only 8 percent of Hispanic women and 11 percent of African-American women returned for screening every year. In contrast, 19 percent of Caucasian women completed annual mammograms. The study found approximately one third of the women studied received their first mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40. Almost half the women with private insurance began screening before age 40.

The authors conclude that the "need to find ways to encourage women to start screening may be less critical than the need to encourage them to return promptly once they have begun screening."
-end-
Article: "The Age at which Women Begin Mammographic Screening," James A. Colbert, Emily M. Kaine, Judy Ann Bigby, Darrell N. Smith, Richard H. Moore, Elizabeth Rafferty, Diane Georgian-Smith, Helen Anne D'Alessandro, Eren Yeh, Daniel B. Kopans, Elkan F. Halpern, Kevin Hughes, Barbara L. Smith, Kenneth K. Tanabe, James S. Michaelson, CANCER; Published Online: September 13, 2004 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.20583); Print Issue Date: October 15, 2004.

Wiley

Related Breast Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Oncotarget: IGF2 expression in breast cancer tumors and in breast cancer cells
The Oncotarget authors propose that methylation of DVDMR represents a novel epigenetic biomarker that determines the levels of IGF2 protein expression in breast cancer.

Breast cancer: AI predicts which pre-malignant breast lesions will progress to advanced cancer
New research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, could help better determine which patients diagnosed with the pre-malignant breast cancer commonly as stage 0 are likely to progress to invasive breast cancer and therefore might benefit from additional therapy over and above surgery alone.

Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.

Breast screening linked to 60 per cent lower risk of breast cancer death in first 10 years
Women who take part in breast screening have a significantly greater benefit from treatments than those who are not screened, according to a study of more than 50,000 women.

More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process -- changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding -- uses a molecular process believed to contribute to survival of pre-malignant breast cells.

Breast tissue tumor suppressor PTEN: A potential Achilles heel for breast cancer cells
A highly collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report in Nature Communications that they have identified a novel pathway for connective tissue PTEN in breast cancer cell response to radiotherapy.

Computers equal radiologists in assessing breast density and associated breast cancer risk
Automated breast-density evaluation was just as accurate in predicting women's risk of breast cancer, found and not found by mammography, as subjective evaluation done by radiologists, in a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco and Mayo Clinic.

Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density
A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that Videssa® Breast, a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer, is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense and non-dense breast tissue.

Study shows influence of surgeons on likelihood of removal of healthy breast after breast cancer dia
Attending surgeons can have a strong influence on whether a patient undergoes contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.

Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast conserving surgery see improved prognosis
A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery.

Read More: Breast Cancer News and Breast Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.