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Access to Mammography Screening Study

New Hampshire State Cancer Registry

The Access to Mammography Screening study used New Hampshire State Cancer Registry data from 1998–2004 for 5,966 New Hampshire women over age 40 who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Cases were pulled from the registry database using ICD-O-2 and ICD-O-3 breast cancer histology codes. American Joint Commission on Cancer (AJCC) staging was used to define cases further by stage.

We identified all facilities certified to provide mammography services in New Hampshire (46) and in the adjacent states of Maine (60), Massachusetts (181), and Vermont (26). Each facility's address was geocoded. The addresses of patients were geocoded to the exact street address (91.5%) or a ZIP Code centroid if only a post office box or rural route. We assessed stage of diagnosis according to proximity to the nearest mammography facility.

The data indicated that in the predominantly rural state of New Hampshire, mammography facilities are geographically accessible to most women, and that neither travel distance and time to a mammography facility nor rural residence significantly affected the stage at diagnosis of breast cancer. These results were reassuring and implied that New Hampshire women are well provided for in terms of mammography screening.

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