Fox News (10/30, Cappon) reports that “a survey conducted by the Society for Women’s Health Research…revealed that although four out of five women agree mammograms are important, only 54 percent actually get them.”
“Of the barriers to scheduling a mammogram, the majority of women cited high cost and lack of insurance as the most significant.”
Additionally, Women…reported that they must consider non‐medical costs, including travel, time off work, and childcare.”
Blogfinger Medical Commentary: By Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC
October was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The organizer’s web site explains their aims: official link
The survey described above is very interesting because it provides specific guidance as to how to help improve the fight against breast cancer. The study suggests that we need to take these steps to help reduce the breast cancer mortality rates:
1. Try to identify those 20% of women who don’t know about mammograms and then educate them.
2. For women who don’t have health insurance that covers the test, they need to be informed about the special provisions of the ACA regarding mammograms and how to find insurance policies that will cover them. Also those women can be educated about programs that offer free tests for those who can’t afford them.
3. In areas where women don’t go for mammograms because of child care, time off from work and travel issues, breast cancer awareness groups can strive to help them with those concerns.
4. If the oncology community decides that 3-D mammograms are superior in diagnostic accuracy, then the availability and cost of those imaging tests can be be targeted by interested cancer and public health organizations.
5. Since African-American women have substantially higher breast cancer death rates than whites, groups such as the pink campaigns need to go into black communities to educate and help that population.
These ideas are substantial and worthy of support. Just hanging pink ribbons and banners in our more affluent communities is not nearly enough.
Click on “Fox News”above to read their complete article on this subject.