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Age-related differences in mammography use and in breast cancer knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors



Age-related differences in mammography use and in breast cancer knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors



Journal of Cancer Education 13(1): 26-30



This study examined age differences in breast cancer knowledge, attitudes, and early-detection behaviors in a multi-ethnic sample of economically disadvantaged women participating in a breast-cancer education outreach program. Age differences in breast cancer knowledge, perceptions of risk of breast cancer, barriers to mammography, recommendations of mammography by health professionals, health promotion behaviors, and mammography use and intention were investigated. The subjects were 139 women aged 30 or older who were categorized in one of three age groups: 30 to 39, 40 to 49, and 50 years old or older. One fourth of the women between the ages of 30 and 39 reported both that they had had mammography in the past and that they intended to have it in the next year. Fifty percent of those in their forties reported mammography use at some time in the past, and 56% intended to obtain it in the coming year. Fifty percent of those 50 or older reported that they had had mammography in the past year. Women aged 40 or older were more likely than those in their thirties to report that their healthcare providers had encouraged them to get mammograms. No significant age differences were observed in breast cancer knowledge or perceptions of personal risk of breast cancer. The fact that the three age groups were similar in their perceptions of personal risk of breast cancer suggests that older women may not be accurately assessing their risk and thus may be obtaining screening mammography at less-than-optimal levels.

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Accession: 045190996

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PMID: 9565858


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