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Am J Public Health. 1997 Jul;87(7):1100-2.

Questionable data and preconceptions: reconsidering the value of mammography for American Indian Women.

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  • 1Cancer Control Section, Minnesota Department of Health, Minneapolis 55440-9441, USA.


Although the benefits of mammography are well established, many remain skeptical of the value of mammography for American Indian women. This skepticism stems in part from a belief that breast cancer is too rare an event among American Indians to warrant widespread screening. The validity of this assumption for Northern Plains Indians is challenged by a discussion of the limitations of available data on breast cancer in American Indian populations (including lack of generalizability, underestimation, and an overreliance on relative rather than absolute measures of cancer incidence) and by findings from the Minnesota Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, a federally funded program providing free breast and cervical cancer screening to American Indian and other women in Minnesota. In light of this information, the authors recommend that the low priority of mammography for American Indian women be reconsidered.

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