TUESDAY, April 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For breast cancer survivors, the use of mammography has been declining since 2009, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Katherine P. Lowry, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues examined annual surveillance mammography participation from 2004 to 2016 in a nationwide sample of 141,672 commercially insured women with prior breast cancer.

The researchers found that from 2004 to 2016, there was a decrease in mammography rates from 74.1 to 67.1 percent. From 2004 to 2009, the rates were stable (annual percentage change, 0.1 percent), but from 2009 to 2016, they declined by 1.5 percent annually. After 2009, the rates declined 2.8 and 1.4 percent annually among those aged 40 to 49 years and 50 to 64 years, respectively. Trends were similar for women who had seen a surgeon/oncologist or a primary care provider in the previous year (annual percentage change, −1.7 and −1.6 percent, respectively).

“Our findings suggest we need to reinforce the importance of annual mammograms with our patients who have had breast cancer,” Lowry said in a statement. “We also need additional studies to better understand the barriers that are leading to fewer mammograms.”

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