Have you had a mammogram in the last two years? Statistics Canada asked women aged 50-69 and found that by last year, the answer was usually yes. The national study found that nearly three-quarters of women in that age group did..
That testing rate was a big jump from 1990, when national figures were first gathered and just 40.5 per cent of women reported undergoing mammogram testing in the two years prior.
Systematic breast-cancer screening began in the late 80’s, and mammogram testing rates rose dramatically through the 1990s. But Statistics Canada reports that testing rates peaked by 2000-2001 and then stabilized.
Still, while testing rates were up overall in the population, Statistics Canada says that’s not the case for lower-income women, or immigrants, or smokers or those without a regular doctor.”
As a matter of fact, the report says between 2005 and 2008, mammography declined among women with the lowest incomes in the country.
And 40 per cent of smokers don’t have regular mammograms. The most common reason is apparently that they don’t think it’s necessary. Meanwhile, the evidence shows that mammography increases survival by detecting cancers early.