Breast Cancer Screening Barriers and Disability

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There is evidence that early detection from breast cancer screening is an effective means to reduce overall mortality from breast cancer. Findings from multiple research studies suggest that women with chronic disabling conditions are less likely to participate in breast cancer screening due to the multiple barriers they face. Barriers include those related to finances, environment, physical limitations, health carers' attitudes and lack of knowledge, and psychosocial issues. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the existing evidence of the barriers to breast cancer screening experienced by women with physical disabilities. Rehabilitation nurses that work with women who have chronic disabling conditions can be instrumental in eliminating these barriers to breast cancer screening through their efforts to promote health which is consistent with the philosophy of maximizing the health potential and quality of life of these women whose needs are often overlooked.

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