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South Med J. 1991 Jul;84(7):862-6.

Breast cancer screening in a biracial community: the Charleston tricounty experience.

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Department of Biostatistics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425-2503.


Breast cancer remains a major cause of death among women in South Carolina. Mammography, breast self-examination, and clinical breast examination are effective methods for early detection and subsequent mortality reduction. The Tricounty Breast Cancer Screening Survey assessed knowledge of these methods and recommendations among 503 women in the Charleston area. While 57% of all respondents reported performing breast self-examination at least once per month, 13% of blacks and 6% of whites reported that they do not know how to perform the procedure. Clinical breast examinations within the past year were reported by 69%, yet 11% of blacks and 4% of whites reported that they had never had the examination. More than one third (40%) of all 503 women reported ever having had a mammogram, and 22% reported having had one within the past year. However, 18% of the blacks and 5% of whites reported never having heard of the procedure. The major barriers to mammography appear to be the belief that women do not need regular mammograms and the lack of recommendations by their physicians. Survey results support the need for educating women about what the procedures are, the importance of using them regularly, and the means to comply with them.

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