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Public Health Rep. 1980 May-Jun;95(3):276-81.

Breast cancer detection behavior among urban women.


Data from the ongoing Los Angeles Health Study were analyzed to determine women's behavior and behavioral intentions regarding three modes of breast cancer detection behavior: breast self-examination (BSE), physician examination of the breasts, and mammography. Two questions were addressed: Are women who engage in one type of breast surveillance behavior likely to engage in all three? What are the social characteristics of women who engage in these breast cancer detection behaviors?The data indicated that women who had had a recent professional (physician) breast examination did not necessarily practice monthly BSE. Only 82 of a sample of 540 women had had mammography; thus, it was not possible to relate this type of surveillance to the other two types. However, 93 percent of the women interviewed indicated they would obtain a mammography examination if their physicians recommended it. There were few differences among the sociodemographic subgroups with respect to BSE and professional examination, with the exception that black women were more likely to report practicing monthly BSE than were white or Hispanic women.

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