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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Aug;20(8):1135-9. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2493. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Self-detection remains a key method of breast cancer detection for U.S. women.

Author information

  • 1University of Washington School of Medicin,eDepartment of Medicine,Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195-7138, USA. mylang@u.washington.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The method by which breast cancer is detected becomes a factor for long-term survival and should be considered in treatment plans. This report describes patient characteristics and time trends for various methods of breast cancer detection in the United States.

METHODS:

The 2003 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a nationally representative self-report health survey, included 361 women survivors diagnosed with breast cancer between 1980 and 2003. Responses to the question, How was your breast cancer found? were categorized as accident, self-examination, physician during routine breast examination, mammogram, and other. We examined responses by income, race, age, and year of diagnosis.

RESULTS:

Most women survivors (57%) reported a detection method other than mammographic examination. Women often detected breast cancers themselves, either by self-examination (25%) or by accident (18%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite increased use of screening mammography, a large percentage of breast cancers are detected by the patients themselves. Patient-noted breast abnormalities should be carefully evaluated.

Comment in

PMID:
21675875
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3153870
Free PMC Article

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