Pain, being busy may be obstacles to having mammograms, a study finds

Women who don’t have mammograms may have various reasons why they skip the test, according to a study, including fearing the pain they may experience and being too busy.

Researchers from Kaiser Permanente looked at data on 340 women who completed a survey about breast cancer screenings. Almost a quarter of the women said that “too much pain” was an obstacle to getting a mammogram. Obese women were more likely than non-obese women to say that pain was a barrier to getting tested.

Feeling embarrassed about having a mammogram was another reason women didn’t go, although obese women weren’t more likely to mention that as a factor than were non-obese women.

Younger women reported they were too busy to get a mammogram compared with older women, and younger women also worried more about the accuracy of the test as well as unnecessary surgery that might result.


Other factors associated with not getting tested were having a health plan membership for less than five years and having a family income of less than $40,000 a year.

The study was released recently in the Journal of Women’s Health.