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Women’s views about breast cancer prevention at mammography screening units and well women’s clinics

Posted by Dr. Sian Iles, submitted by K Whitehouse on June 10, 2020 in Breast
Breast Cancer Prevention
Breast Cancer Prevention

Latest publication from Dr. Siân Iles. See full text.



Women attending mammography screening units (msus) and well women’s clinics (wwcs) represent a motivated cohort likely to engage in interventions aimed at primary breast cancer (bca) prevention.


We used a feasibility questionnaire distributed to women (40–49 or 50–74 years of age) attending msus and wwcs in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to examine

  • women’s views about bca primary prevention and sources of health care information,
  • prevalence of lifestyle-related bca risk factors, and
  • predictors of prior mammography encounters within provincial screening guidelines.

Variables examined included personal profiling, comorbidities, prior mammography uptake, lifestyle behaviours, socioeconomic status, health information sources, and willingness to discuss or implement lifestyle modifications, or endocrine therapy, or both. A logistic regression analysis examined associations with prior mammography encounters.


Of the 244 responses obtained during 1.5 months from women aged 40–49 years (n = 75) and 50–74 years (n = 169), 56% and 75% respectively sought or would prefer to receive health information from within, as opposed to outside, health care. Lifestyle-related bca risk factors were prevalent, and most women were willing to discuss or implement lifestyle modifications (93%) or endocrine therapy (67%). Of the two age groups, 49% and 93% respectively had previously undergone mammography within guidelines. Increasing age and marital status (single, separated, or divorced vs. married or partnered) were independent predictors of prior mammography encounters within guidelines for women 40–49 years of age; no independent predictors were observed in the older age group.


Women attending msus and wwcs seem to largely adhere to mammography guidelines and appear motivated to engage in bca primary prevention strategies, including lifestyle modifications and endocrine therapy. Women’s views as observed in this study provide a rationale for the potential incorporation of bca risk assessment within the “mammogram point of care” to engage motivated women in bca primary prevention strategies.


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