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Cancer. 1991 Apr 1;67(7):2010-4.

Mammography and age: are we targeting the wrong women? A community survey of women and physicians.

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Lineberger Cancer Research Center, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


To determine mammography use among women with a broad range of ages, the authors surveyed women aged 30 to 74 years and physicians practicing primary care in two eastern North Carolina counties. Twenty-five percent of women in their 30s had ever had a mammogram, and 34% intended to have one in the coming year. From 45% to 52% of women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s had ever had a mammogram, and 55% to 57% intended to have one in the next year. Thirty-seven percent of women aged 70 to 74 years had ever had a mammogram, and 40% intended to have one in the following year. Nineteen percent of physicians reported screening nearly all women aged 30 to 39 years, and 14% screened few women aged 50 to 74 years. Younger women were more worried about breast cancer than older women and assessed their risk as higher, attitudes that were generally associated with higher mammography utilization. These community surveys suggest that mammography use may be excessive among younger women; older women continue to be underscreened.

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