Mental health inequalities in detection of breast cancer

British Journal of Psychiatry, December 2014

Women with a mental illness (including depression, anxiety and serious mental illnesses) are less likely to be screened for breast cancer, according to new research published in the BJPsych.  UK-based researchers from the Universities of Leicester and Greenwich reviewed 24 publications reporting breast cancer screening practices in women with mental illness (around 700,000), and five studies investigating screening for those in distress but who had not been diagnosed with a mental illness (nearly 21,500). Researchers found that there were significantly reduced rates of mammography screening in women with mental illness, depression and severe mental illness such as schizophrenia. The effect was not present in women with distress alone, suggesting distress was not the explanation. 

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