According to a recent poll of 1,000 American voters conducted for the American College of Radiology, nearly 9-in-10 women reported that having a regular mammogram gave them a feeling of control over their own health care. Nearly 90 percent of women who had a mammogram considered mammograms important to their health and well-being.
The poll, conducted Aug. 31 Sept. 6, also showed that 86 percent of women report having a mammogram in last two years.
"I'm encouraged that poll results show that nearly 9-in-10 women voters are getting regular mammograms. However, I think we need to continue to stress to women and health care providers that mammography saves lives," said Barbara S. Monsees, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Commission.
Mammography has helped reduce the breast cancer death rate by more than 30 percent since 1990. Every major medical organization with expertise in breast cancer now recommends women get annual mammograms starting at age 40. However, the number of mammography facilities nationwide continues to decline. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there are now 223 fewer mammography facilities and 1,331 fewer mammography scanners available to American women than in July 2007.
"Mammography is the best tool available to screen for breast cancer. At present, there is nothing to replace it. We need to make sure that women get the information they need to make informed decisions and to protect and enhance access to life-saving mammograms," said Debra L. Monticciolo, MD, president of the Society of Breast Imaging.