185940 Disparities in breast cancer awareness and stage of diagnosis among women in Philadelphia

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Robert Ferdman, MPH , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
Longjian Liu, MD, PhD, MSc , Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
Sriya Krishnamoorthy, PhD, MPH, CHES , Department of Surgery, Drexel University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed among women. While there is currently no cure, early detection via self breast examination, mammography, and clinical breast exams are imperative to reduce disease burden and increase survival rates. The Drexel University College of Medicine/Tenet Women's Health Project provides access to free breast health services for uninsured women in Philadelphia. The primary objective of this study is to identify the knowledge and beliefs associated with mammography utilization among project participants and identify characteristics of patients confirmed with breast cancer. A survey was mailed in order to assess breast cancer knowledge and screening behavior, and retrospective chart reviews conducted to identify and characterize positive cases. Analysis was conducted with SPSS and SAS. Preliminary results show that the African American participants among the confirmed positive cases present with more advanced stages of breast cancer than Asian and White women. Participants from South Philadelphia appear to have negative perceptions about the importance of mammograms in comparison to women in other regions of Philadelphia. Family history of cancer is significantly associated (p<0.05) with incomplete knowledge about abnormal mammograms and self breast exams. The results indicate a significant (p<0.05) discrepancy between the utilization of free mammograms and belief in the importance of mammograms, self breast exams, and proper interpretation of abnormal mammograms. It is therefore imperative that the Women's Health Project collaborate with grassroots community organizations to expand its breast cancer education endeavors and provide more comprehensive prevention efforts consisting of both awareness and access.

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess the significance of a negative interpretation of an abnormal mammogram. 2. Identify disparities that exist with breast cancer awareness among underprivileged women and stage of diagnosis among those confirmed to be positive with breast cancer by biopsy. 3. Recognize the necessity to improve breast cancer education and preventive measures by improving both awareness and access.

Keywords: Breast Cancer Screening, Breast Cancer Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I personally conducted the research for the student thesis necessary for graduating with an MPH. I developed the survey, which was mailed with the help of Dr. Krishnamoorthy, reviewed all medical charts and conducted the analysis with the variables of interest.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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See more of: Epidemiology