Objective: This paper presents a methodology for piecing together disparate data sources to obtain a comprehensive model for the use of mammography screening in the US population for the years 1975-2000.
Methods: Two aspects of mammography usage, the age that a woman receives her first mammography and the interval between subsequent mammograms, are modeled separately. The initial dissemination of mammography is based on cross-sectional self report data from national surveys and the interval length between screening exams is fit using longitudinal mammography registry data.
Results: The two aspects of mammography usage are combined to simulate screening histories for individual women that are representative of the US population. Simulated mammography patterns for the years 1994-2000 were found to be similar to observed screening patterns from the state level mammography registry for Vermont.
Conclusions: The model presented gives insight into screening practices over time and provides an alternative public health measure for screening usage in the US population. The comprehensive description of mammography use from its introduction represents an important first step to understanding the impact of mammography on breast cancer incidence and mortality.