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Screening Mammograms

The barriers that prevent women from accessing screening mammograms are similar to those that prevent them from accessing cervical cancer screening. One major difference is that provincial screening programs exist for breast cancer, but not cervical cancer screening. There is some evidence that the presence of a screening program has helped to reduce the gap in breast cancer screening between high income and low income women in Manitoba.[4] Although women of higher socioeconomic status are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, women with lower incomes are more likely to die from breast cancer, in part because of later diagnosis.[5] In addition, while in women over 40, the incidence of breast cancer is higher in White women compared to African American women, the pattern is reversed in women under 40.[6]  African American women experience an excess of breast cancer at younger ages and these cancers tend to be more aggressive and have poorer prognoses.[6]

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4. Gupta, S, Roos, LL, Walld, R, Traverse, D, Dahl, M. Delivering equitable care: Comparing preventive services in Manitoba. American Journal of Public Health 2003;93:2086-92.

5. Canadian Public Health Association. Board of Directors Discussion Paper. Health impacts of social and economic conditions: Implications for public policy. 2001. Ottawa, Canadian Public Health Association.

6. Hall, IJ, Moorman, PG, Millikan, RC, Newman, B. Comparative analysis of breast cancer risk factors among African-American women and White women. American Journal of Epidemiology 2005;161:40-51.

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