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Hologic survey reveals major gaps in screening among millions of US women

A US poll commissioned by Hologic and conducted by Gallup found that there is a significant “screening gap” between millions of women living in the US and preventive healthcare.

An estimated 72 million women have either missed or delayed a recommended screening that could potentially prevent serious diseases such as breast, cervical and colon cancer, which together account for more than 70,000 deaths among women each year in the United States.

Key findings from the US survey, based on the annual Hologic Global Women’s Health Index and which surveyed 4,0001 women, found that over 41% of women skipped breast cancer screenings, while 35% and 33% skipped cervical cancer screenings, respectively. Reasons for this included not knowing if the screening was necessary or important (24%), anxiety (20%), lack of time (20%), or fear of pain or discomfort (17%).

In addition, compared with other races, black women were more likely to report that preventive care was very important to them and were much less likely to skip or postpone a preventive care visit.

In addition, the survey revealed some of the causes behind this gap, including a lack of information, with about three in 10 adult Gen Z women and nearly a quarter of Millennials saying they have a hard time finding the health information they need.

Another factor is the lack of communication with healthcare professionals. Important discussions about screening often do not take place. Only around 50% of women aged 35 and over said they had spoken to a healthcare professional about cancer screening. And even fewer women attended the screening.

The last factor is emotional health, which affects 60% of women. More than six in 10 women said they find it difficult to prioritize their health, including 75% of women with children at home. Other factors included feeling overwhelmed (72%).

Commenting on the results, Stephen MacMillan, Chairman, President and CEO of Hologic, said: “This survey, our first focused on the United States, reveals so much about the challenges women face in prioritizing their health… We hope this survey will spur greater awareness, education and policy regarding screening.”

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