Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1998; 22(2):161-167.

Screening Mammography Behavior After a False Positive Mammogram

Etta D Pisano, MDa,b, Jo Anne Earp, PhDb,c, and Tamara Lou Gallant, MPHc

aDepartment of Radiology, University of North Carolina UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC; cDepartment of Health Behavior and Health Education, UNC School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC; and bUNC-Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chapel Hill, NC

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: Etta D. Pisano, M.D., Department of Radiology, CB 7510, Room 503. Old Infirmary Building, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7510.

ABSTRACT: This pilot study describes women's interpretations of the experience of a false positive mammogram followed by a negative biopsy and the impact of this experience on subsequent participation in screening mammography. A 25-min, open-ended telephone interview was administered in 1992 to 30 women over age 39 who had negative biopsies in 1987 preceded by abnormal mammograms. Almost twice as many women reported getting regular mammograms after the biopsy (60%) as did before 1987 (33%). Most received their next mammogram after the biopsy within the recommended interval (73%), and those getting regular mammograms prior to the biopsy experience were more likely than those who did not have a prior habit of undergoing mammography to continue to get them afterwards, These preliminary findings suggest that a negative breast biopsy after a positive mammogram does not reduce a patient's likelihood of undergoing screening in the future, In fact. it may serve as an impetus for increased compliance with screening recommendations,

KEY WORDS: biopsy, breast neoplasms prevention and control, breast neoplasms psychology, mammography utilization, preventive health services.