Regardless of free screening or otherwise, 80 percent women with a high risk of breast cancer decline to get it done, a study has revealed. Breast cancer is the top cancer victimising women in the developed as well as in the developing world. Unfortunately, low and middle-income countries are at a higher risk of breast cancer due to lack of timely diagnosis. According to researchers, US women who had five times the risk of breast cancer were not motivated to be checked – even though they know they are at a high risk. More than eight out of 10 women at high risk of breast cancer are declining screening, warns new research.

Early detection has been shown to be associated with reduced breast cancer morbidity and mortality. Oncologist Dr Vance Sohn from Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington said the numbers failing to be screened may be even higher in the general population. He said: “In the interest of helping more women be screened earlier for breast cancer, we were intrigued about what this preliminary study identified – that 85 percent of women with a 20 to 24 percent lifetime risk still did not pursue high risk surveillance.” His team plan to find out why, on an individual basis, women are declining this cancer check. Dr Sohn said, “If we understand the reason behind this circumstance, then it will help us better target those who would benefit from this imaging modality so we could provide clear explanations about the test.” The study was presented at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in San Diego found the vast majority of these women choose not to get it. The researchers analysed data on 1,057 women who had a 20 percent or greater lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. The screenings were offered based on their high-risk status, and not because of mammography results. Overall, only 23 percent – 247 of the women – underwent MRI screening. Furthermore, just 15 percent of women with a 20 to 24 per cent lifetime risk of breast cancer had an MRI.

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