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:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on ... Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability ... fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, ... minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to ... value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher ... and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive ... provide independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling report ... are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to ... a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst ... to only four states – Kentucky , ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: