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Cancer Causes Control. 2005 Apr;16(3):245-53.

Are risk factors for breast cancer associated with follow-up procedures in diverse women with abnormal mammography?

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Department of Family Health Care Nursing, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), USA.



We evaluated the association of risk factors for breast cancer with reported follow-up procedures after abnormal mammography among diverse women.


Women ages 40--80 years were recruited from four clinical sites after receiving a screening mammography result that was classified as abnormal but probably benign, suspicious or highly suspicious, or indeterminate using standard criteria. A telephone-administered survey asked about breast cancer risk factors (family history, estrogen use, physical inactivity, age of menarche, age at birth of first child, parity, alcohol use), and self-reported use of diagnostic tests (follow-up mammogram, breast ultrasound, or biopsy).


Nine hundred and seventy women completed the interview, mean age was 56, 42% were White, 19% Latina, 25% African American, and 15% Asian. White women were more likely to have a positive family history (20%), use estrogen (32%), be nulliparous (17%) and drink alcohol (62%). Latinas were more likely to be physically inactive (93%), African Americans to have early onset of menarche (53%) and Asians first child after age 30 (21%). White women were more likely to have suspicious mammograms (40%) and to undergo biopsy (45%). In multivariate models, Latinas were more likely to report breast ultrasound, physical inactive women reported fewer follow-up mammograms, and care outside the academic health center was associated with fewer biopsies. Indeterminate and suspicious mammography interpretations were significantly associated with more biopsy procedures (OR=8.4; 95% CI=3.8-18.5 and OR=59; 95% CI=35-100, respectively).


Demographic profile and breast cancer risk factors have little effect on self-reported use of diagnostic procedures following an abnormal mammography examination. Level of mammography abnormality determines diagnostic evaluation but variance by site of care was observed.

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