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Cancer screening fear is fueled by lack of information says review covering nearly 6,000 women
Date:6/11/2009

e same family patterns can apply to cervical cancer."

Figures from the USA and UK show that there is a big gap between the number of women invited for screening and the number who actually attend.

In 2007 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in America estimated that 25 per cent of women aged 40 plus had not had breast screening in the last two years and 16 per cent aged 18 and over had not had a cervical smear in the last three years.

Cancer Research UK figures for the same year suggest that 4.4 million women were invited for cervical smears but only 3.6 million (82 per cent) attended.

Breast cancer rates are similar in both countries, despite differently funded healthcare systems and screening criteria, but a lower percentage of UK women die from cervical cancer.

The researchers have come up with three key recommendations as a result of their review:

  • Nurses should promote screening by educating women of the benefits of breast and cervical screening even when they do not ask for information.

  • Initiatives aimed at increasing uptake rates should focus on women's fears about the procedure or a possible positive result.

  • Public health messages need to specifically target women who do have access to healthcare but fail to undergo routine testing.

"Nurses have a key role to play in addressing the fears and lack of knowledge that women have when it comes to screening for breast and cervical cancer" concludes Dr Ackerson.

"They need to help women understand both the risks and benefits of screening so that they can make informed choices about whether or not they want to be tested."


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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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