Overweight and obese women are at higher risk for getting breast and
cervical cancers, but new research shows that these same women are less likely
to receive Pap smears and mammograms, the recommended screening tests.
The authors of the study speculate that physicians may have negative
attitudes toward their overweight patients, or the patients' low self-esteem
may prevent them from seeking care.
Among black women, obesity did not affect the rate of Pap smears or
mammography, perhaps because weight is less of a stigma in black culture.