Breast Cancer Screening in Women Exposed In Utero to Diethylstilbestrol.
The purpose of this paper was to determine if women exposed in utero to diethylstilbestrol (DES) are more likely than unexposed women to receive recommended or additional breast cancer screening examinations.
Data from the study cohort were used to assess the degree of recommended compliance of breast cancer screenings was found in 3,140 DES-exposed and 826 unexposed women. Participants were enrolled at four sites: Houston, Boston, Rochester, and Los Angeles. The data from the mailed questionnaires that included the reported frequency from 1990 through 1994 of breast-self examinations (BSEs), clinical breast examinations (CBEs), and mammograms was analyzed.
The results showed that the DES-exposed women exceeded annual recommendations for CBEs among women without a history of benign breast disease compared with unexposed women. There were no other statistically significant differences between exposed and unexposed women who reported performing BSEs, CBEs (<40 years of age), and mammographies, regardless of benign breast disease history.
Although this study showed that the majority of DES-exposed women receive breast cancer screenings at least at recommended intervals, it also showed that over two thirds do not perform monthly BSEs. It is recommended that Future efforts should be focused on further educating this and other at-risk populations through mailed reminders and during patient consultations on the benefits of screening examinations.