Patterns and Determinants of Breast and Cervical Cancer Non-Screening Among Appalachian Women


Breast and cervical cancer account for nearly one-third of new cancer cases and one-sixth of cancer deaths. Cancer, the second leading cause of all deaths in the United States, will claim the lives of nearly 800,000 women this year, which is particularly unfortunate because effective modes of early detection could significantly reduce mortality from breast and cervical cancer. Researchers examined patterns of non-screening among Appalachian women. In-person interviews were conducted with 222 Appalachian women who fell outside of screening recommendations for timing of Pap tests and mammograms. These women, from six Appalachian counties, were participating in a group-randomized, multi-component trial aimed at increasing adherence to cancer screening recommendations. Results indicated that participants who were rarely or never screened for breast cancer were also likely to be rarely or never screened for cervical cancer. In addition, four key barriers were identified as independently and significantly associated with being rarely or never screened for both cervical and breast cancer. An improved understanding of cancer screening patterns plus the barriers underlying lack of screening may move researchers closer to developing effective interventions that facilitate women's use of screening.

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Published in Women & Health, v. 53, issue 6, p. 552-571.

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