A new study finds the number of women getting routine screening mammography may be less than previously reported. The study, published in the October 15, 2005 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, finds as many as one in three women have never had a mammogram or have not had one in more than two years, and that many women have one or two mammograms then fail to return for regular screenings.
While screening mammography has been credited with significant improvements in breast cancer outcomes, the success of campaigns to increase screening use have not shown consistent improvements. In New Hampshire studies assessing use demonstrate that overall use by women 50 years old and older range from 65-82 percent and depend on age. However, these studies rely on self-reporting surveys prone to poor patient recall or single community healthcare facility use.
Registries, like the New Hampshire Mammography Network (NHMN), track actual use by communities, suggesting more accurate data on use. Led by Patricia A. Carney, Ph.D. of the Dartmouth Medical School, researchers compared data from the NHMN registry to the 2000 census for New Hampshire to understand patterns of mammography use in New Hampshire.
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