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Cancer. 1990 Oct 1;66(7):1613-20.

Mammographic screening of women with increased risk of breast cancer.

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Section of Community Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.


Five hundred one women from Dallas County, Texas who participated in the American Cancer Society 1987 Texas Breast Screening Project were selected because of a self-reported family history of breast cancer (cases). They were matched with 501 randomly selected women from the same county with no family history (controls). Although there was a statistically significant trend with age for an increasing proportion of women to report having undergone mammography, there was no significant difference when comparing mammographic histories of cases with controls after controlling for age (31.5% versus 35.1%, P = 0.33). Significantly more cases (79%) perceived their risk for breast cancer to be moderate or greater compared with controls (54%, P less than 0.0001), but mammographic histories were not different when controlling for perceived risk. Both cases and controls cited lack of physician referral and cost as their reasons for not having undergone mammography. Women at increased risk for breast cancer (because of their family history) are not undergoing regular mammographic screening despite their self-awareness of the increase in their risk.

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