Childhood Cancer Survivors Skip Breast Screenings
Many Women Who Survived Cancer in Childhood Forgo Breast Cancer Screenings Despite Increased Risk
WebMD News Archive
Among women 40 to 50 who had received chest radiation for childhood
- They were more likely to have had mammograms than those aged 25 to 39.
- About two-thirds (76.5%) had a screening mammogram in the past two years
(compared with 70% for women who did not receive chest radiation during
childhood and 67% for siblings without history of childhood cancer).
- Slightly more than half (52%) had regular breast cancer screenings. (This
finding was not significantly higher than those who never had chest
- Older women were more likely to undergo breast cancer screening in the past
two years or to have received regular screening.
- The chances a woman would report having a mammogram jumped nearly twofold
for every five-year increase in age.
"Findings from this study should provide the foundation for targeted
interventions involving both clinicians and cancer survivors," the authors
An accompanying editorial written by doctors in the United Kingdom
emphasizes the need for well-designed programs to provide ongoing education for
women and their doctors about the risks of breast cancer after childhood chest
Aliki J. Taylor, MD, PhD, MPH, of the University of Birmingham in Enlgand,
and Roger E. Taylor, MD, MA, of Swansea University in Wales also encourage
future studies to determine if exposure to radiation during mammography increases the cancer risk for these women,
and to explore breast MRI as a possible alternative. They also suggest
investigating whether more women in this high-risk group would undergo breast
cancer screening if it were provided at no cost.