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Volume 8 Supplement 1

Symposium Mammographicum 2006

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'I want to go home': women with disability and the mammography procedure

Women with disability are underutilising mammography screening, which is contributing to a higher than expected mortality rate from breast cancer. Barriers to successful mammography screening include the mammography procedure, which has been identified as problematic for these women [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.

In situ analysis was used to identify barriers as they occur when women with disability have a mammogram. Under scrutiny was the interaction between the woman, the radiographer and the mammography equipment.

The analysis identified the need for assistive technologies such as hoists, extra personnel and extra time and space. For some women a successful completion was not possible. A dedicated centre or mobile van to provide the assistance required would greatly facilitate successful completions. Most importantly, a decision tool that would predict successful completions would avoid the trauma for women needlessly undergoing the mammography procedure. These women could then be offered alternative strategies.


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

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Poulos, A., Llewellyn, G., Balandin, S. et al. 'I want to go home': women with disability and the mammography procedure. Breast Cancer Res 8 (Suppl 1), P72 (2006).

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