Trends in mammography use and their relation to physician and other factors

Cancer Detect Prev. 1996;20(4):332-41.


This study examines trends and factors (e.g., physician utilization) affecting mammography use from 1988 to 1990 among women residing in an area of high breast cancer incidence. Mail surveys of independent random samples of over 2000 women 50 to 75 years of age residing on Long Island were conducted each of the three study years, and responses were compared. Statistically significant increases in reported mammography use occurred over the 3-year period within all age, income, and educational subgroups. These were accompanied by a decline in reporting that the doctor did not recommend it, as a reason for not having a mammogram, and by a statistically significant increase in reported physician recommendation among those who visit a doctor annually, particularly those using a gynecologist. Clinical breast examination was the strongest predictor of mammography use, with knowledge of the recommended screening frequency also strong associated. Despite a regionally high incidence of breast cancer, screening mammography use corresponded to national rates. Access and visits to a regular physician were critical factors and substantiated the need for education of women, family practitioners, and internists about breast cancer screening guidelines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Physicians