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Medicine and Public Policy |

Breast Cancer Screening among Women from 65 to 74 Years of Age in 1987-88 and 1991

Elizabeth Ann Coleman, RNP, PhD; Eric J. Feuer, PhD, The NCI Breast Cancer Screening Consortium
[+] Article and Author Information

The members of the National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Screening Consortium are: Russell Harris, MD, MPH (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Jane Zapka, ScD; Mary E. Costanza, MD (University of Massachusetts, Worcester and Amherst); Sarah A. Fox, EdD, MPH (University of California, Los Angeles); Dorothy S. Lane, MD, MPH (State University of New York at Stony Brook); Barbara Rimer, DrPH (Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, Durham, North Carolina); Suzanne G. Haynes, PhD; Larry G. Kessler, ScD (The National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland).

Grant Support: By The National Cancer Institute and The National Institute on Aging, Contract N01-CN-85122-01.

Requests for Reprints: Elizabeth Ann Coleman, RNP, PhD, Applied Research Branch, DCPC, NCI; EPN 343 Bethesda, MD 20892.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Coleman: EPN 343m, NCI/NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892.

Dr. Feuer: EPN 313, NCI/NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Ann Intern Med. 1992;117(11):961-966. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-117-11-961
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Objective: To compare breast cancer screening rates from the 1991 survey with data from 1987-88 for women aged 65 to 74.

Design: Surveys of women from five communities.

Settings: Five control communities of the National Cancer Institute's Breast Cancer Screening Consortium.

Participants: White, non-Hispanic women, ages 65 to 74; 499 in 1987-88 and 2156 in 1991. Response rates for the first survey wave ranged by area from 65% to 77% and for the second survey wave, from 62% to 85%.

Main Outcome Measure: Mammogram and clinical breast examination during the past year and performance of monthly breast self examination, with the screening rates in wave 2 directly standardized to the income and education distribution of wave 1 in each area.

Results: Mammography use between waves increased significantly (P < 0.05 after adjusting for education, income, and age) in all but one area (from 19% to 33% in wave 1 to 35% to 59% in wave 2). Among women who had a mammogram, the percent who also had a clinical breast examination decreased between waves from 95% to 85% (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Mammography in older women increased dramatically over 3 years, although the use of clinical breast examination may be decreasing.

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