The most common cancers among women are breast and cervical cancer. Although early detection of cancer has been shown to increase the likelihood of survival, many women are not screened for these cancers as often as practice guidelines recommend. The objective of this study was to examine the mammography and Papanicolaou (Pap) smear screening practices among women within the United States, and to determine predictors of screening.
[Photo: Dr. Kelly Sullivan]
Results from the study showed Pap and mammography screenings were positively associated with younger age, minority race, being married, having a higher level of education, being employed, having higher household income, having health insurance and not having financial concerns regarding affording doctor visits. Blacks and Hispanic women were more than twice as likely to have Pap screenings (Black: OR=2.16, 95% CI 1.97- 2.36; Hispanic: OR=2.33, 95% CI = 2.11-2.58) and mammograms (Blacks: OR=2.11, 95% CI 1.88-2.36; Hispanics OR=1.82, 95% CI 1.60-2.07) compared to White women. Women earning less than $10,000 per annum were much less likely to have cervical cancer screenings (OR=0.57, 95% CI 0.51-0.65) compared to women with higher incomes while mammography screening was less likely among women who reported financial barriers to health care (OR=0.59, 95% CI 0.53-0.64).
In conclusion, women from minority ethnic groups were more likely to be screened for cervical cancer compared to White, non-Hispanic women. Women from low-income households and women who could not visit a doctor due to costs had the strongest association with lacking screenings.
“Predictors of mammogram and Pap screenings among US women,” was published in the Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association.
Dr. Kelly Sullivan, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Georgia Southern University was the faculty mentoring author. Student authors were Ms. Sewuese Akuse, Ms. Koren Tate, Ms. Tiffany Addison, Ms. Tierra Drayton, and Ms. Deborah Kanda.