Barriers to Breast Cancer Screening and Strategies to Overcome Them

Published in: Breast Cancer Screening / Jatoi I., ed. (Austin, TX: Landes Biosciecne, 1997), Chapter 9

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1997

by Sarah Fox, Richard G. Roetzheim, Clairice T. Veit

A variety of socioeconomic, cultural and communication barriers appear to underlie the use of breast cancer screening. Barriers discussed in this chapter are categorized into five areas; (1) demographic characteristics such as insufficient income and urban versus rural living that might act as major barriers in the ability of some women to access screening services; (2) physician-patient communication patterns that might act as a barrier in affecting adherence with screening recommendations; (3) knowledge gaps about the importance of early detection for controlling breast cancer that might play a primary role in some women's decisions to seek breast cancer screening; (4) physicians' or patients' attitudes about some aspects of breast cancer screening such as its safety or efficacy that might negatively affect physician recommendations to seek breast cancer screening or patient adherence with screening recommendations and (5) insufficient individual or community-based activities to assist providers in educating and reminding women about the importance of having regular screening for breast cancer. A woman might experience any one or all of these barrier types.

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