Komen News: Study Finds Few Women Consistent About Getting Mammograms
Study Finds Few Women Consistent About Getting Mammograms
June 21, 2004 - A study published June 21 in the journal Cancer, Early View reports that only six percent of women who received a screening mammogram in 1992 returned for all 10 of the recommended annual screenings over the next 10 years.
The study, conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital, included 72,417 women. The average number of mammograms the women in the study received was about five, half of the number recommended. The number of mammograms that women got over the 10-year period was even lower in groups that are often medically underserved.
The groups with the best compliance rates were women ages 55 - 65 and women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past.
Komen Foundation recommendations
The Komen Foundation recommends that women receive annual screening mammograms every year after reaching age 40. For women at an increased risk for developing breast cancer, annual screening may begin at a younger age, depending on their physician's recommendation. Yearly mammographic screening provides for a record of images that can be compared and contrasted. This allows radiologists and physicians to detect and pinpoint suspicious breast developments at earlier stages.
"When breast cancer is detected early and treated, the chances for a patient having an excellent outcome are greatly improved," said Dr. Perkins.
Dr. Perkins added, "The findings of this study indicate that there is still work to be done in delivering a clear and complete message regarding the importance of screening mammography. And more importantly, patient-focused organizations like the Komen Foundation will need to continue their efforts to address many barriers that prevent women from getting regular mammograms. These include lack of childcare, lack of transportation, inability to get time off from work, lack of accessibility to mammogram facilities, financial pressures, and language and cultural barriers."
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, working through a nationwide network of more than 100 Affiliates and more than 75,000 dedicated volunteers, seeks to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease through research, education, screening and treatment programs. Through community-based grants provided through its Affiliate groups, Komen works to meet the unmet breast health and breast cancer needs of medically underserved populations throughout the United States.