The Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) conducted an annual survey of women in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, asking how long it had been since their last clinical breast exam/mammogram. The findings were startling…
A clinical exam is a physical examination performed by a qualified doctor or nurse that looks for lumps or changes in the breast. A mammogram is an x-ray that will produce an image of the breast that can detect lumps. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and clinical breast exams every three years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and older.
The survey revealed that one-third of women in Southeastern Pennsylvania did not receive an annual preventative breast health screening (mammogram) in the past year. One-third of women 18 years or older did not have a clinical breast exam in the past year. Four in ten women ages 40 years or older did not have a mammogram in the past year. Women 75 and older were the most likely to have missed a mammogram in the past year (44%), followed by women 60-74 (30%).
Asian women 40 years and older were more likely to have forgone a mammogram in the past year (52%), compared to White and Latina women (38%), versus Black women (30%), and women of another race/ethnicity (45%). These statistics based on race were similar for mammograms and clinical breast exams.
Poverty level and access to care were also evaluated in this study. Women 40 years and older who were below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level were more likely not to have had a mammogram in the past year (41%) compared to women who lived above the poverty level. (36%). Women 18 years and older who did not have a regular source of care were twice as likely as women with a regular source of care to have forgone a breast exam in the past year. Uninsured women 40+ were three times more likely to not have had a mammogram in the past year than those who were insured.
PHMC released this data as an annual campaign to increase awareness of breast cancer and to encourage early detection. The results have clearly found that many women in Southeastern Pennsylvania have forgone an annual preventative breast health screening in the past year.
Click here to read the complete article on this study.