BACKGROUND: In a racially and ethnically diverse sample of recently diagnosed urban breast cancer patients, we examined associations of patient, tumor biology and mammography facility characteristics on the probability of symptomatic discovery of their breast cancer despite a recent prior screening mammogram. METHODS: In the Breast Cancer Care in Chicago study, self-reports at interview were used to define patients as having a screen-detected breast cancer or having symptomatic awareness despite a recent screening mammogram (SADRS), in the past one or two years. Patients with symptomatic breast cancer who did not report a recent prior screen were excluded from these analyses. Characteristics associated with more aggressive disease (estrogen and progesterone receptor negative status and higher tumor grade) were abstracted from medical records. Mammogram facility characteristics that might indicate aspects of screening quality were defined and controlled for in some analyses. RESULTS: SADRS was more common among nH Black and Hispanic than nH White patients (36% and 42% vs. 25%, respectively, p=0.0004). SADRS was associated with ER/PR negative and higher grade disease. Patients screened at sites that relied on dedicated radiologists, and sites that were breast imaging centers of excellence were less likely to report SADRS. Tumor and facility factors together accounted for two-thirds of the disparity in SADRS (proportion mediated=70%, p=0.02). CONCLUSION: Facility resources and tumor aggressiveness explain much of the racial/ethnic disparity in symptomatic breast cancer among recently screened patients. IMPACT: A more equitable distribution of high quality screening would ameliorate but not eliminate this disparity.
- Received March 20, 2015.
- Revision received July 14, 2015.
- Accepted July 15, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.