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Volume 8 Supplement 1

Symposium Mammographicum 2006

  • Poster Presentation
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'What's the point of it?': radiographers, women with disability and mammography screening

Women with disability are underutilising mammography screening, which is contributing to a higher than expected mortality rate from breast cancer. Barriers to participation experienced by women with disability include receiving information about mammography screening, communication difficulties during the procedure and staff attitudes [1]. A large study funded by the Australian National Breast Cancer Foundation investigated these barriers and determined solutions. One part of this study is reported here.

Radiographers employed by BreastScreen NSW, Australia, participated in focus groups to investigate their attitudes and perceptions of mammography screening for women with disability.

Radiographers expressed many concerns about mammography screening for these women. Issues raised included the necessity of mammography screening, legal consent, the role of carers and the need for education of BreastScreen staff. Wheelchairs, which prevented the mammography equipment from being positioned appropriately, were identified as a major barrier to producing optimally diagnostic mammography films. Importantly, radiographers indicated that the provision of relevant information in appropriate formats for these women would greatly improve the potential for a successful mammography completion.


  1. Poulos A, Llewellyn G, Balandin S, Dew A: Women with cerebral palsy and breast cancer screening by mammography. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006, 87: 304-307. 10.1016/j.apmr.2005.09.020.

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Poulos, A., Llewellyn, G., Balandin, S. et al. 'What's the point of it?': radiographers, women with disability and mammography screening. Breast Cancer Res 8 (Suppl 1), P71 (2006).

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