Despite lower breast cancer incidence rates, Appalachian women evidence lower frequency of screening mammography and higher mortality risk for breast cancer compared to non-Appalachian women in Kentucky, and in the United States, overall. Utilizing data from 27 in-depth interviews from women in seven Appalachian Kentucky counties, this study examines how Appalachian women explain sociocultural barriers and facilitators to timely screening mammography, and explores their common narratives about their mammography experiences. The women describe how pain and embarrassment, less personal and less professional mammography experiences, cancer fears, and poor provider communication pose barriers to timely and appropriate mammography schedule adherence and follow-up care. The study also identifies how improving communication strategies in the mammography encounter may improve mammography experiences and adherence to screening guidelines.
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