Primary Article

Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening Rates in Sioux Indian Women



ABSTRACT: With increasing evidence of the effectiveness of mass screening in reducing mortality from both cervical and breast cancer, we began to study the rates of cervical cytology and mammography in 1994 for its impact on increased efforts to gain participation among its target population, the Sioux Indian women. Data were collected from 100 diabetic and 100 randomly selected patients aged 50 to 69 years. Patients with diabetes were selected to better evaluate the effects of patient acceptance of screening tests, since these patients are believed to be more motivated to have preventive care. However, this study showed no observable differences. Among the patients with diabetes, 33% had at least one cervical smear and 45% had a mammogram. For patients without diabetes, the rates were 32% and 42%, respectively. The number of patient visits to physicians during the 12-month study period averaged 7 for patients with diabetes and 4 for randomized patients. Thus, this paper contends that missed opportunity and limited access to cancer screening were the main reasons for such displeasing statistics.

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