To investigate mammography facilities’ follow‐up times, population vulnerability, system‐based processes, and association with cancer stage at diagnosis.
Prospectively collected from San Francisco Mammography Registry () 2005‐2011, California Cancer Registry 2005‐2012, facility survey 2012.
We examined time to biopsy for 17 750 abnormal mammogram results (‐ 4/5), categorizing eight facilities as short or long follow‐up based on proportion of mammograms with biopsy at 30 days. We examined facility population vulnerability (race/ethnicity, language, education), and system processes. Among women with a cancer diagnosis, we modeled odds of advanced‐stage (≥b) cancer diagnosis by facility follow‐up group.
Merged , Cancer Registry and facility survey data.
Facilities (N = 4) with short follow‐up completed biopsies by 30 days for 82% of mammograms compared with 62% for facilities with long follow‐up (N = 4) ( < 0.0001). All facilities serving high proportions of vulnerable women were long follow‐up facilities. The long follow‐up facilities had fewer radiologists, longer biopsy appointment wait times, and less communication directly with women. Having the index abnormal mammogram at a long follow‐up facility was associated with higher adjusted odds of advanced‐stage cancer ( 1.45; 95% 1.10‐1.91).
Providing mammography facilities serving vulnerable women with appropriate resources may decrease disparities in abnormal mammogram follow‐up and cancer diagnosis stage.