TitleNon-normal Screening Mammography Results, Lumpectomies, and Breast Cancer Reported by California Women, 2001–2009
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsIrvin, VL, Breen, N, Meissner, HI, Liu, B, Kaplan, RM
JournalWomen's Health Issues
Pagination331 - 340
Date Published01/2015


Although screening mammography may contribute to decreases in breast cancer mortality in a population, it may also increase the risk of false positives, anxiety, and unnecessary and costly medical procedures in individuals. We report trends in self-reported non-normal screening mammography results, lumpectomies, and breast cancer in a representative sample of California women.


Data were obtained from the 2001, 2005, and 2009 cross-sectional California Health Interview Surveys (CHIS) and weighted to the California population. CHIS employed a multistage sampling design to administer telephone surveys in 6 languages. Our study sample was restricted to women 40 years and older who reported a screening mammogram in the past 2 years. Sample sizes were 13,974 in 2001, 12,069 in 2005, and 15,552 in 2009. Women reporting non-normal results were asked whether they had an operation to remove the lump and, if so, whether the lump was confirmed as malignant.


Between 2001 and 2009, the percent of California women who reported having been diagnosed with breast cancer was relatively stable. For each of the three age groups studied, the percentage of non-normal mammography results increased and the percentages of lumpectomies decreased and, for every woman reporting a diagnosis of breast cancer, three women reported a lumpectomy that turned out not to be cancer. This ratio was greater for younger women and less for older women.


Despite relatively constant rates of breast cancer diagnosis from 2001 to 2009, the percentage of non-normal mammography results increased and lumpectomies declined.

Short TitleWomen's Health Issues