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MMWR CDC Surveill Summ. 1992 Apr 24;41(2):17-25.

Cancer screening behaviors among U.S. women: breast cancer, 1987-1989, and cervical cancer, 1988-1989.

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Epidemiology and Statistics Branch, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.


Data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were used to examine trends in breast and cervical cancer screening behaviors among U.S. women in selected states. Data reported are from the 1987, 1988, and 1989 BRFSS for breast cancer screening (mammography) and from the 1988 and 1989 BRFSS for cervical cancer screening (Papanicolaou [Pap] smear). Results are presented as either state-specific or state-aggregate data for the years noted above. State-specific analyses indicated that self-reported mammography utilization increased between 1987 and 1989. Although whites and blacks reported similar mammography utilization rates both for screening and for a current or previous breast problem, disparities were evident among women of different ages and incomes. The proportion of women who reported ever having had a Pap smear and having heard of a Pap smear were extremely high and remained fairly consistent across the 2 survey years. State-aggregate analyses, however, showed that the percentage of women who had had a Pap smear within the previous year was negatively associated with age and positively associated with income. A higher proportion of blacks than whites obtained Pap smears. These results indicate that certain segments of the population are not taking full advantage of available breast and cervical cancer screening technologies. Public health strategies, such as those outlined in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-354), should enhance screening opportunities for these women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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