Simple Strategy to Improve Mammography Screening Rates Highlighted at 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium

September 6, 2014
Amber Bauer, ASCO staff

Currently, mammography is the best tool doctors have to screen healthy women for breast cancer. However, for breast cancer screening to be most effective, women must have the test done according to the screening schedule recommended by their doctors. Unfortunately, many women miss their appointments and are overdue for screening.

According to the results of a large Canadian study, women who receive reminder letters signed by their family doctor, in addition to the standard postcard reminders, are more likely to have a screening mammogram. During a six-month period, 22% of women who received postcard reminders when their screening was overdue got a mammogram, compared with 33% of those who received postcards and a personalized reminder from their family doctor.

“So frequently, focus is placed on technology advancements in imaging as a method to improve breast cancer screening detection rates. In contrast, this study highlights how a simple reminder with a personal touch can make a difference to a woman,” said Julia White, MD, Vice Chair of Clinical Research and Director of Breast Radiation Oncology in the Department of Radiation Oncology at The Ohio State University. Dr. White is also a member of the News Planning Team for the 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium.

Dr. White discusses this study further in the following podcast.

Read a full transcript of this podcast.

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