Breast Cancer Screening in Southeast Georgia: An Epidemiologic Profile of Perceptual and Behavioral Factors Affecting Participation

Document Type


Publication Date



Breast cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer among women in Georgia. In an effort to more fully understand cancer risk among residents in the southeast region, a university-public health collaborative was formed to establish point prevalence data and investigate factors associated with risk among a cohort of rural women. Specifically, this study sought to examine racial differences as they related to individual risk, perceptions of breast cancer risk, and perceptions of barriers to screening. Women enrolled in breast and cervical cancer screening programs in four rural counties in southeast Georgia were recruited into the study and surveyed (n = 147). Based on chi-square analyses (� = 0.05), participants were similar in terms of sociodemographic variables, such as age, marital status, level of education, and household income. However, black women were more likely to have had five-or-more pregnancies (p < 0.0001), and to have given birth before age fifteen (p = 0.049). White women were more likely to perceive pollution (p = 0.038), smoking (p = 0.018), age (p = 0.013), and hormone replacement therapy (p = 0.005) as factors influencing breast cancer risk, and to have perceived cost as a barrier to screening (p = 0.032). Although limitations in the research design existed, this study served to contribute meaningful data to public health professionals in southeast Georgia. Specific public health implications in this region of the state will be discussed in detail.


American Public Health Association Annual Conference (APHA)


Philadelphia, PA