So say researchers in Massachusetts who surveyed women (primarily white, highly educated) ages 39-49 presenting for annual checkups. They gave the women a fact sheet about the new USPSTF guidelines on mammogram screening in their age group, and asked them to read one of two articles either supporting or opposing the guidelines. The researchers then asked women about their beliefs, concerns and attitudes about breast cancer and mammogram screening. Here’s what they found –
- Women overwhelmingly want annual mammograms – Close to 90% of women surveyed felt they should have annual mammograms, regardless of what their doctor might recommend.
- Women overestimate breast cancer risks – Eighty eight percent overestimated their lifetime risk for the disease, with the average estimate being 37%. (The correct lifetime risk for breast cancer is 12%). This is consistent with previous research on breast cancer beliefs.
- The media may not influence women’s opinions about screening guidelines – Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Blog That Ate Manhattan*