Women Refuse to Cut Back on Mammograms: Poll

But most are misinformed about the risks
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2009 8:30 AM CST
Women Refuse to Cut Back on Mammograms: Poll
Women intend to keep getting mammograms, even though they're fuzzy on the risk.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An overwhelming majority of American women intend to ignore the recommendation that they get fewer mammograms, with most wildly overestimating their risk of breast cancer. In a new poll, 84% of women aged 35 to 49 say they still intend to get routine mammograms before age 50, in keeping with American Cancer Society guidelines. But 40% also believe that a 40-year-old’s risk of developing breast cancer over the next decade is between 20% and 50%—in reality, it’s 1.4%.

Seventy-six percent of women say they disagree or strongly disagree with the US Preventative Services Task Force’s new guidelines; 76% also believe that the panel had made its recommendation based on cost, though the report included only scientific studies, reports USA Today. In all, “It's gratifying that most women have gotten the message,” said the society’s top medical officer. “Unfortunately, your poll also shows that we still need to do a lot in terms of health education.” (Read more breast cancer stories.)

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