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Preventive Counseling Helps Hodgkin Disease Survivors

Counseled patients nearly four times more likely to get breast cancer screening than others

WEDNESDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Women who were diagnosed with Hodgkin disease and treated with thoracic radiation before age 35, which can increase their risk of breast cancer, are more likely to have mammograms later in life if they receive risk counseling via phone, researchers report in the June issue of the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Joan R. Bloom, Ph.D., of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues evaluated the effects of telephone mammography counseling on 133 Hodgkin disease survivors who underwent radiation treatment before age 35.

The researchers found that women who received mammography counseling were 3.6 times more likely to get regular mammograms than those without counseling. In general, women who were married, working, worried about cancer or who received annual physical exams were more likely to have regular mammograms. Women 45 and older received more screening than those under 40 years of age.

"The findings indicate that providing risk information encourages cancer survivors to take health preventive actions," the authors write. "Telephone counseling is a method that can provide risk information and is easily transferable to settings where people seek health information."

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