, Volume 11, Issue 8, pp 697-705

Mammography and breast cancer detection by race and Hispanic ethnicity: results from a national program (United States)

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Objective: Some of the racial and ethnic variation in breast cancer incidence rates may reflect differential use of mammography. We report breast cancer rates using mammography and diagnostic data from five race/ethnicity groups.

Methods: Mammography data were analyzed for 573,751 women who received breast cancer screening between July 1991 and March 1998 from the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). Abnormal mammography rates, breast cancer detection rates, and cancer stage distribution data are presented by race/ethnicity and screening round (first or subsequent).

Results: For the first screening round, percentages of abnormal mammographies ranged from 7.3% among black women to 9.3% among Asian/Pacific Islander women. Cancer detection rates ranged from 4.9 cancers per 1000 mammograms for Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women to 7.7 per 1000 for white women. Subsequent round rates were lower but varied similarly. AI/AN women had the highest percentage (68%) of first-round cancers detected in the early stage (range for the other groups: 52–63%).

Conclusions: Breast cancer detection rates for racial and ethnic groups in this program varied less than published population-based incidence rates. Differential use of mammography among these groups may account for some of the variation reported for breast cancer incidence.