Study: Mammogram education is vital

October 26, 2006

U.S. physicians say patients, when told how to obtain mammography screening for breast cancer, receive or schedule a mammogram within one month.

"Our study just shows that a little education can do a lot of good," said lead author Dr. Elizabeth Bascom.

The study -- conducted at hospitals in Detroit and Madison Heights, Mich., -- divided women patients into two groups, one of which was educated about the importance of mammogram screening, provided with pamphlets and given phone numbers to call to arrange a free mammogram. The control group was educated about mammograms and given pamphlets, but not provided with any phone numbers to get free testing.

Within one month, nearly one-quarter of the women who had been given phone numbers for free mammograms had arranged for or had a mammogram.

"The results tell us that many patients are interested in preventive medicine, but either do not know how to obtain it, or lack the resources," said Bascom.

The study was presented last week in New Orleans during the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians and appears online in the October supplement to the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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