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MAMMOGRAPHY USE BY HIGH-RISK WOMEN INFLUENCED BY AGE AND EDUCATION

 /ADVANCE/ PHILADELPHIA, July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Although most women at high risk for breast cancer seem to follow National Cancer Institute guidelines for mammography screening, a study in the July 7 issue of the "Journal of the National Cancer Institute" reports that psychological counseling would benefit certain groups of women who may be reluctant to be screened.
 Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center conducted a series of telephone interviews with 140 women aged 35 to 79 who were considered to be at high risk because they had a first-degree relative (mother, sister or daughter) with breast cancer and concluded that age and education influenced mammography use.
 NCI guidelines recommend that all women (including those not at high risk for the disease) aged 40 to 49 receive mammograms every one to two years and women aged 50 and older receive them annually.
 The study found that 76 percent of high-risk women aged 35 to 39, and 86 percent of women aged 40 to 49 complied with these recommendations. However, the study also found that 37 percent of women older than 50 do not receive annual mammograms and 13 percent had never been screened.
 Other results of the study suggest that psychological barriers, such as a woman's fear of developing the disease, may be preventing more women from receiving regular screenings. This was especially true for women with less formal education.
 Dr. Caryn Lerman, a research psychologist at Fox Chase and principal investigator for the study, said greater efforts are needed to reduce psychological distress and increase the use of mammography among older high-risk women and those with less formal education.
 "I think we need to spend more time teaching women who have relatives with breast cancer about the benefits of receiving regular mammograms," said Lerman. "We also need to deal with the concerns and fears they have about the disease through psychological counseling."
 Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of 27 National Cancer Institute- designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation. Fox Chase's activities include basic and clinical research; prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach programs.
 /delval/
 -0- 7/6/93/1800
 /CONTACT: Eric Rosenthal or Denise LaMarra of Fox Chase Cancer Center, 215-728-2700/


CO: Fox Chase Cancer Center ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:

JM-MK -- PH013 -- 8599 07/06/93 11:56 EDT
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Date:Jul 6, 1993
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