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Health (London). 2010 Nov;14(6):653-68. doi: 10.1177/1363459310361599.

Screening for breast cancer: medicalization, visualization and the embodied experience.

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Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.


Women's perspectives on breast screening (mammography and breast awareness) were explored in interviews with midlife women sampled for diversity of background and health experience. Attending mammography screening was considered a social obligation despite women's fears and experiences of discomfort. Women gave considerable legitimacy to mammography visualizations of the breast, and the expert interpretation of these. In comparison, women lacked confidence in breast awareness practices, directly comparing their sensory capabilities with those of the mammogram, although mammography screening did not substitute breast awareness in a straightforward way. The authors argue that reliance on visualizing technology may create a fragmented sense of the body, separating the at risk breast from embodied experience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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