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Keywords

Breast — Cancer; Breast — Cancer – Mortality; Breast — Examination; Breast — Radiography; Indian women; Indians of North America

Abstract

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women currently have some of the highest mortality rates from breast cancer for any racial/ethnic group in the United States and some of the lowest screening rates. However, current data are not available for regional differences in screening, which can result in dramatically different stage at diagnosis and mortality. We conducted surveys with 120 focus group participants in a needs assessment of mammography among AI/AN in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area and parts of Northeast Kansas. We found that among women under age 40, for whom recommended screenings include only annual clinical breast examination and breast self-examination, more women reported breast self-examination than clinical breast examination (85.3% versus 55.0% in the past year). Among women age 40 and older, more women reported breast self-examination (80.0% in the past year) than either clinical breast examination or mammography (50.8% and 46.9%, respectively, in the past year). These low rates of breast cancer screening are consistent with low rates reported around the country among AI/AN and have strong implications for stage at diagnosis and prognosis for AI/AN breast cancer patients.