Breast cancer is prevalent, deadly, costly, and has low cure rates unless detected in its
early stages. Mammography is the key component to early detection, yet it remains
underutilized due to cost, access, and factors such as fear of pain.
Multiple studies have shown that most women find mammography uncomfortable, even painful.
Yet, little research has been done to find methods to reduce mammography-related discomfort.
In an unpublished Master’s thesis, this investigator found that women who expected
discomfort > 40 on a visual analog scale (VAS) who were pre-medicated with 1000 mg of
acetaminophen reported lower discomfort scores than those pre-medicated with placebo, but
the sample size was too small to reach statistical significance. Further study on the
effects of pre-medication is needed.
Pain should not be associated with a potentially lifesaving procedure. A more comfortable
and positive experience with mammography may increase the number of women who participate in
regular mammography screening, and, thereby, increase early detection and reduce the
mortality rate, costs, and emotional trauma associated with breast cancer.
Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Double-Blind, Primary Purpose: Treatment
Discomfort scores on a visual analog scale at recruitment, at enrollment, and after mammogram
Colleen K. Lambertz, MSN, FNP
Mountain States Oncology Group
United States: Institutional Review Board
MSTMRI - 001
|St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute Breast Cancer Detection Center||Boise, Idaho 83712|