The American Cancer Society quotes lead researcher Nancy Breen, Ph. D., of the National Cancer Institute:
Whatever the cause, the drop in mammography rates is worrisome, Breen adds. She and her group are trying to develop new studies that could shed light on why mammogram use is declining.
"We really need to know why it is that screening isn't happening before we can talk about developing strategies that are going to work [to raise levels again]," she notes.
However, at least one strategy has already been proven to help boost screening rates: reminder systems. People are more likely to get screened if they get a phone call or card or email reminding them to make that appointment.
Another thing that could help, Breen says, is to keep the message about screening front and center.
"We can't assume that people who have been screening will continue to screen, and we need to continue to make it clear that this is of benefit to them," she says."