Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breast-cancer awareness now in U.S. national consciousness

Date:
April 8, 2011
Source:
University of Oregon
Summary:
Each October, the color pink marks the arrival of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Media coverage and product promotions showcase the national effort to promote screenings and early detection of the cancer that 200,000 American women are diagnosed with each year. A new study, though, shows the effort has made an impact in more spread out examinations.

Each October, the color pink marks the arrival of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Media coverage, product promotions and even the football gridirons showcase the national effort to promote screenings and early detection of the cancer that 200,000 American women are diagnosed with each year.

New research from the University of Oregon examined more than 30 years of cancer registry data to determine if October events related to National Breast Cancer Awareness Months (NBCAM) lead to increases in breast cancer diagnoses in the following month of November.

The study, co-authored with George Mason University epidemiologist Kathryn Jacobsen, is titled, "Health Awareness Campaigns and Diagnosis Rates: Evidence from National Breast Cancer Awareness Month." It was published in the January 2011 Journal of Health Economics.

The study found that NBCAM events were effective at increasing November diagnoses during the mid-1990s when the awareness movement was expanding across the U.S. and was recognized by the federal government as an official event. In more recent years, researchers found little evidence of an increase in November diagnoses following October-time NBCAM events.

According to researchers, that may be a good thing. "In addition to showing a diminishing effect from NBCAM, the data indicate that the distribution of diagnoses over the calendar has become more uniform. Both of these findings suggest that women are now getting diagnosed as a result of routine screenings, as opposed to event-driven screenings. This is a good thing, since routine screening is likely to lead to earlier diagnoses," said Grant Jacobsen, a professor in the UO department of planning, public policy and management.

For the study, the researchers studied data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Registries database from five states and four metropolitan areas, the most complete record of diagnoses available.

The research found that before NBCAM was well established in the early 1990s, there were large fluctuations in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Most notable to the researchers were significant spikes in 1974 and 1987 coinciding with announcements by first ladies Betty Ford and Nancy Reagan when each disclosed a breast cancer diagnosis.

"Our findings indicate that during the period before NBCAM, when breast cancer was rarely talked about, celebrity diagnoses reminded women of the risk of breast cancer and led some to seek out screening, and consequently resulted in increases in diagnoses," said Kathryn Jacobsen.

According to Kathryn Jacobsen, breast cancer awareness was a rich subject for the study because it is one of the oldest and most well-established awareness campaigns in the U.S.

"So much has changed from 1987 when only 30 percent of women reported having a mammogram in the previous two years," she said. "Communities came together -- women and men -- to talk about breast cancer, and screenings among the target group increased to 70 percent by 1999."

"Our study is actually good news for breast cancer advocacy. It suggests that breast cancer advocacy efforts have increased awareness of the need for regular screening among American women," said Grant Jacobsen. "There are other associated benefits beyond initial screenings that should perhaps be expanded now that the awareness campaign is mature."

Breast cancer organizations now raise significant funds for research and facilitate support groups and connections for women with breast cancer and their families and friends. As the study concludes, these activities broaden the campaigns beyond screenings, which have been successful among the target audience.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oregon. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Grant D. Jacobsen, Kathryn H. Jacobsen. Health awareness campaigns and diagnosis rates: Evidence from National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Journal of Health Economics, 2011; 30 (1): 55 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2010.11.005

Cite This Page:

University of Oregon. "Breast-cancer awareness now in U.S. national consciousness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110408124303.htm>.
University of Oregon. (2011, April 8). Breast-cancer awareness now in U.S. national consciousness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110408124303.htm
University of Oregon. "Breast-cancer awareness now in U.S. national consciousness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110408124303.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins