Data from 10 states, primarily in the Rocky Mountains and the South, showed more than 26% of women had limited access to mammography.
For many women in the United States seeking breast cancer screening, travel time to the nearest mammography facility is still significant, according to a new study published in . Journal of the National Cancer Institute Led by researchers from the American Cancer Society.
In particular, the study found that travel time affects more than 50% of women in rural areas in 28 states. This poor accessibility was associated with a low number of women undergoing critical breast cancer screening.
“Our findings raise concerns,” senior scientist Dr. Daniel Wiese said in a press release. “Programs need to move forward to remove these barriers so that women can access this potentially life-saving screening.”
For this study, researchers obtained mammography location data in the mainland United States in 2006 and 2022 from the FDA. The investigators then evaluated the relationship between restricted access and prevalence of breast cancer screening by state.
The study found that the proportion of women nationwide with limited access to mammography remains high. This proportion has not changed significantly from 2006 (12.7%) to 2022 (12.2%). However, due to population growth, the estimated number of women suffering from accessibility restrictions has increased from 7.5 million to 8.2 million in the meantime.
Data from 10 states, primarily in the Rocky Mountains and the South, showed more than 26% of women had limited access to mammography. Except for New England and a few states in the mid-Atlantic region, limited access to mammography was highest in Rocky Mountain regions and substantial in rural areas (>50% in 28 states). In urban areas, this percentage was less than 5% in her 35 states. The biggest improvements were in South Dakota and Mississippi, where access restrictions dropped by 5.1% and 4.8% respectively.
“The simple answer is to increase breast cancer screening facilities in sparsely populated areas, but this can be both financially and logistically challenging,” Wiese said in a press release. “Further research is needed to improve the effectiveness of mobile screening units in increasing participation in rural breast cancer screening, but providing transportation or promoting the use of mobile screening units is an alternative action. may become.”
Travel time for breast cancer screening remains long for many women in the United States, new research shows. news release. American Cancer Society; December 14, 2022. Accessed December 20, 2022. https://pressroom.cancer.org/mammographytraveltimes