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Prev Med. 1993 Jan;22(1):1-19.

Breast cancer screening practices among retirement community women.

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  • 1Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, Pennsylvania 19012.



The purposes of this study were (a) to learn more about the existing breast cancer screening practices of women age 65 and older and (b) to identify factors related to breast cancer screening.


A random sample of 752 women age 65 and older residing in independent living apartments in eight retirement communities was selected to participate in a survey of breast cancer screening practices and related factors. A total of 616 surveys were complete, yielding a response rate of 82%; of those, 571 of the surveys were administered by telephone, with the remaining 45 administered in person.


Thirty-eight percent of the women reported having had a mammogram within the past year, 53% had a clinical breast exam, and 39% reported performing monthly breast self-examination. The percentage of women reporting either annual clinical breast examinations or mammography decreased with increasing age. Results of a logistic regression analysis found that having discussed mammography with a physician, believing in the need for mammography, having no mammography-related concerns, and the combination of personal experience with breast cancer and having had a clinical breast examination in the past year were all independently related to having had a mammogram within the past year (P < 0.05).


In order to increase older women's participation in screening, particularly in mammography, educational interventions need to be developed and directed both to older women and to their physicians.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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