TUESDAY, Oct. 11, 2011 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 90 percent of U.S. women believe mammograms are vital to their health and well-being, according to a new national poll of 1,000 voters.
The research commissioned by the American College of Radiology also revealed that by having routine mammograms, women gain a sense of control over their own care.
"I'm encouraged that poll results show that nearly nine in 10 women voters are getting regular mammograms. However, I think we need to continue to stress to women and health care providers that mammography saves lives," Dr. Barbara S. Monsees, chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Breast Imaging Commission, said in an ACR news release.
The death rate for breast cancer has dropped by more than 30 percent since 1990 with the help of mammography, according to the release.
"Mammography is the best tool available to screen for breast cancer. At present, there is nothing to replace it. We need to make sure that women get the information they need to make informed decisions and to protect and enhance access to life-saving mammograms," Dr. Debra L. Monticciolo, president of the Society of Breast Imaging, concluded in the news release.
Although many major medical organizations recommend that all women aged 40 and older get yearly mammograms, research reveals that the number of U.S. mammography facilities is on the decline.
According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration figures cited in the news release, there are currently 223 fewer mammography facilities and 1,331 fewer mammography scanners in the United States than there were in July 2007.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about mammograms.