CDC: Most women do not get a mammogram because of financial difficulties

Researchers found nearly 66% of women between the ages of 50 and 74 have difficulty getting a mammogram if they are facing three or more societal issues.

Gillian Neff and Rose Shannon

Apr 14, 2024, 1:36 PM

Updated 45 days ago

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A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many women do not get screened for breast cancer because of financial problems and or other hardships.
Researchers found nearly 66% of women between the ages of 50 and 74 have difficulty getting a mammogram if they are facing three or more societal issues.
That includes feeling socially isolated, not having reliable transportation, loss of employment or a reduction in hours.
The biggest barrier to accessing health care remains the cost.
Doctors say this information is concerning because mammograms help detect cancer at its earlier stages when it's the easiest to treat.
"The longer you wait between mammograms, the more you're giving that tumor the time to grow and potentially spread." says Dr. Mia Kazanjian of Stamford Health.
Electra Paskett, of the Center for Cancer Health Equity at Ohio State, says health care providers need to speak with their patients about any personal issues they might be dealing with that could make it harder to get a mammogram and work with them to find solutions.
"Institutions need to be aware that they have to ask about these social determinants of health. And if you ask, then you can have a plan in place to address the needs," she says.
Paskett says the goal is to eliminate all barriers keeping women from getting mammograms.
"I'm a three-time breast cancer survivor. My first cancer was diagnosed 27 years ago on a mammogram. It was extremely small, the size of my pinky top of my pinky and I'm still here, so mammography works," says Paskett.


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