Navigation Links
Fear, misconceptions about screenings keep many African-Americans from getting mammograms
Date:11/12/2008

Training physicians and caregivers to improve cultural sensitivity and communication with economically disadvantaged African-American patients could influence these women to get mammograms that could save their lives, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The study found that many African-American women perceive they are being treated with disrespect and receive inadequate explanations about screenings when they go to health care facilities. These experiences influenced their decisions to skip mammograms. They also fear they won't receive correct treatment so they avoid mammograms altogether, the study adds.

"The issue here is not whether these feelings are founded or unfounded," said study author Monica Peek, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at the Medical Center. "The study gives more direction to health professionals on how they can adapt their treatment styles to encourage this high-risk group of women to get screened."

The findings may help account for the huge disparity between death rates from breast cancer in white versus African-American women. Nationally, African-American women have a 35 percent higher mortality rate from breast cancer than white women, according to the National Cancer Institute. In Chicago, the mortality rate for African-American women is dramatically higher than for white women -- 73 percent -- according to the Sinai Urban Health Institute.

The findings are based on feedback gathered during focus groups that included 29 low-income African-American women who were at least 40 years old. The women were asked about their perception of mammograms, whether they would undergo one to screen for breast cancer, and other related questions.

Despite recommendations for women 40 and older to have annual mammograms, only 55 percent of the women reported having a mammogram within the last two years. One woman in the study had a history of breast cancer.

Participants in the study were low-income, medically underserved African-American women who lived in urban, economically challenged neighborhoods throughout Chicago. Participants received a $15 gift certificate to a grocery store in exchange for their participation.

Asked why they did not go for regular mammograms, women in the study gave several reasons. Some felt they had not been treated with respect or not received adequate information from clinical teams during prior visits to health care facilities.

One woman recounted feeling uncomfortable when she was left alone while her images were being developed and read by a radiologist.

"You see, when they left me, there wasn't nobody with me to talk to me," she said.

Other study participants said they thought anyone with breast cancer would inevitably die from the disease, so there was no use getting a mammogram.

"I didn't know that it was a possibility to live after you had breast cancer or had been found having breast cancer," one woman said.

"Everybody I know who had breast cancer [has] died. I [wasn't aware] of anything different," another woman said.

Women also said that stories circulate of patients who had bad experiences undergoing mammograms and received incorrect cancer treatments, such as an unnecessary mastectomy. Those tales are all spun into the urban folklore about mammograms and impact women's decisions not to get screened. The study adds that because of their fears, some women delay getting screened, which leads to worse health outcomes such as late-stage cancer diagnosis and higher mortality rates.

The study points to the need for physicians to be trained in cultural sensitivity. If health care providers tailored their care appropriately for this population, these patients may be more likely to return for repeat mammograms. The study also suggests the need for more community-based health educators to work within underserved communities, explaining the breast cancer screening process, addressing misperceptions, and reinforcing the health messages women receive from their physicians.

"African-American women have a high need for comprehensive information and better communication from their health care providers on breast cancer prevention and treatment. Sadly, we heard none of the women in our study were aware of early diagnosis or positive breast cancer outcomes," Peek said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Martha O'Connell
Martha.OConnell@uchospitals.edu
773-834-8089
University of Chicago Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Shining a Light on Sunscreen: Sun Protection Misconceptions Unveiled by Dr. Jeffrey Dover and CVS/pharmacy
2. Dr. Lance H. Brown President-Elect of Dermatologic Society of Greater New York Fights Misconceptions About Sun Protection and Skin Care in Support of Skin Cancer Awareness Month - May
3. Pet Owner Survey Finds Misconceptions About Aging Pets; Debunks Myths, Offers Advice on Improving Senior Pet Care
4. Misconceptions About Bipolar Disorder Explained, From the Harvard Health Letter
5. LUNA Pure Prevention Survey Confirms Breast Cancer Misconceptions
6. World leaders must be more open about their health
7. MEDVERSATION(TM) Website Launched by Centocor to Facilitate Physician-Patient Dialogue About Drug Benefits and Risks
8. Audio: NACCP, Families Fighting Flu, and the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition Team Up to Educate Families About Annual Childhood Flu Vaccination
9. NACCP, Families Fighting Flu, and the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition Team Up to Educate Families About Annual Childhood Flu Vaccination
10. WomenHeart Urges Women to Talk With Doctors About New Study Showing Statins Prevent Heart Attacks, Deaths
11. Project Runway Designer Brings Living Positive By Design Campaign to New York to Educate About Living With HIV and Combat Stigma Associated With the Disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to ... of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be ... vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Cary, North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... the release of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of ... harvested for centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking ... American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical ... effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on E ... goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not ... as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... June 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as ... Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) ... Daylight Time). As previously announced on May ... definitive merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 26, 2016 ... value-based care operating models within the health care industry ... greater financial efficiency , Deloitte offers a suite ... key business issues impacting efficient cost optimization: labor resource ... , These services facilitate better outcomes and better economics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, ... design, development and manufacturing of collagen and mineral ... announced today that Bill Messer has ... Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio of ... devices. Bill joins the Collagen Matrix ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: