Economics, not race, sways mammo follow-up decision

January 25, 2010
Volume 32, Issue 1

African American women take longer to come in for follow-up care after a suspicious breast abnormality is found, according to a study from the University of South Carolina. The problem may have more to do with economics than race.

African American women take longer to come in for follow-up care after a suspicious breast abnormality is found, according to a study from the University of South Carolina. The problem may have more to do with economics than race.

Lead author Swann A. Adams, Ph.D., and colleagues selected 729 African American women and 901 European American women from more than 50,000 screenings in South Carolina's Best Chance Network. The network provides free mammography screening to economically disadvantaged women. Black women took slightly longer to follow up after an abnormality was found than did their white counterparts (Cancer 2009 Oct 26. Epub ahead of print).

Mistrust and poor communication between patient and doctor, lack of transportation, and proximity of clinics to the patient may cause delays, Adams said.