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Research Letter
September 2017

Women’s Awareness and Perceived Importance of the Harms and Benefits of Mammography Screening: Results From a 2016 National Survey

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • 2School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • 3Government Department, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
  • 4Department of Medicine, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco
  • 5Department of Epidemiology/Biostatistics, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco
  • 6Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(9):1381-1382. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.2247

There is growing scientific consensus that mammography has a modest impact on averting deaths from breast cancer, while exposing women to a number of harms.1 Yet it is not well known how women in the general US public perceive the benefits and harms of mammography screening. Previous research has been published on public enthusiasm for screening and underestimates of harms, but these findings may be outdated.2-4 In this study, we present 2016 data on women’s awareness and perceptions of the benefits and harms of mammography, drawn from a larger survey of US adults on exposure to cancer-related information in the media.

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