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Few women understand current breast cancer testing recommendations

Category: Breast

Few women understand current breast cancer testing recommendations   Recent recommendations from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force for breast cancer testing caused more confusion among women than anything, according to a recent investigation published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

In November of 2009, the Task Force set out a new list of mammogram recommendations for women that suggested breast cancer depending on a woman's age. Those in the highest-risk age groups were told to seek more frequent screening than individuals in lower risk groups.

However, after surveying more than 1,000 about their knowledge of the new recommendations, only between 20 and 23 percent of participants knew what the guidelines were for their age group. Furthermore, an analysis of media coverage from the time the new rules were published revealed that most stories took a negative view of the new recommendations.

Linda Squire, who led the investigation, said that the findings show that public health groups need to be more careful about the messages they send with these types of publications.

"For recommendations to be accepted by [providers and consumers], they first must be understood," she said.

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