What is keeping women from getting mammograms?

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About a quarter of women ages 50 to 74 are not up to date on routine mammograms despite pleas from doctors and public health experts that more middle-aged and older women get screened for breast cancer.
Another so-called health-related social need that keeps women from getting screened is a general dissatisfaction with life.
Join Now “If we are to achieve higher breast cancer screening for all women, we have to look at all the possible challenges women face in getting mammograms,” Lisa C. Richardson, M.D., director of the CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said in a news release.
About 83 percent of women with no health-related social needs had received a mammogram in the previous two years, compared with about 66 percent of those with three or more health-related social needs.
Breast cancer, which can also be diagnosed in men, is the most common cancer among women in the U.S., and a 2024 report from the American Cancer Society shows its incidence is increasing.
The median age of a breast cancer diagnosis in women is 6 3.
Overcoming barriers If any social factors are keeping you from getting screened for breast cancer, know this.
What’s more, women who are uninsured or underinsured are eligible for free or low-cost breast cancer screenings through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.


Doctors and public health experts have been pleading with middle-aged and older women to get screened for breast cancer, but about 25% of women between the ages of 50 and 74 are not up to date on routine mammograms. In addition to cost and accessibility to healthcare, a recent study by federal researchers identifies a number of other factors that keep women from getting screenings.

A study released April 9 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that having access to dependable transportation, feeling socially isolated, going through food insecurity or losing a job can all have an impact on a person’s decision to undergo a mammogram. All-around life dissatisfaction is another purported health-related social need that prevents women from getting screened.

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“We have to look at all the possible challenges women face when getting mammograms if we are to achieve higher breast cancer screening for all women,” said Lisa C. Richards, M.D. stated in a news release as the director of the CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control.

Researchers who examined data from the 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System discovered that a woman’s likelihood of receiving a mammogram decreases with her level of health-related social needs. Approximately 83% of women without any health-related social needs reported having had a mammography within the last two years, while 66% of women with three or more health-related social needs reported the same. According to the study, the largest obstacle was the cost of medical care.

As M.D Jacqueline Miller puts it, “the bottom line is that women are more likely to get lifesaving mammograms when their social needs are met.”. at a press conference, Dr., the medical director of the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

The most common cancer among women in the United States is breast cancer, which can also be diagnosed in men. s. , and a 2024 American Cancer Society report reveals an increase in its incidence. The illness claims over 42,000 U.S. S. lives every year, with Black women accounting for a disproportionately high number of these deaths. Women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a median age of 6-3. According to research, mammography screening, which involves getting an X-ray image of the breast, can lower the number of cancer deaths. Women who underwent mammography screenings had a 41 percent lower risk of dying from breast cancer within ten years of diagnosis, according to a Swedish study that was published in the journal Cancer.

U.S. draft guidelines have been released. s. Instead of starting at age 50, the Preventive Services Task Force suggests that women begin routine mammograms at age 40 and continue every other year until they are 74. After the deadline of June 5th, the final guidelines will be released for public comment on the draft recommendations.

removing obstacles.

Be aware of any social barriers preventing you from undergoing a breast cancer screening.


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This year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services introduced a new billing code that enables medical professionals to get paid for evaluating patients’ social needs related to their health and putting them in touch with resources that can assist. According to the CDC’s chief medical officer, Debra Houry, M.D, questions in such an assessment might include whether a patient has access to transportation or gets enough to eat. outlined in a press conference. It is imperative that these questions be asked. To start a conversation between a patient and a provider, it really only takes a minute to concentrate on a few important questions, the speaker stated.

Preventive screening mammograms are paid for out of pocket by Medicare and the majority of commercial insurance policies. Additionally, women who lack insurance or have inadequate insurance may qualify for low-cost or free breast cancer screenings via the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

According to Houry, “the CDC has invested in these programs, which are accessible to state, tribal, and territorial health departments nationwide.”. The website of the CDC allows you to locate a screening program in your area.

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