Social Network Effects of Nonlifesaving Early-Stage Breast Cancer Detection on Mammography Rates.

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    • Abstract:
      Objectives. We estimated the effect of anecdotes of early-stage, screen-detected cancer for which screening was not lifesaving on the demand for mammography. Methods. We constructed an agent-based model of mammography decisions, in which 10 000 agents that represent women aged 40 to 100 years were linked together on a social network, which was parameterized with a survey of 716 women conducted through the RAND American Life Panel. Our model represents a population in equilibrium, with demographics reflecting the current US population based on the most recent available census data. Results. The aggregate effect of women learning about 1 category of cancers—those that would be detected but would not be lethal in the absence of screening—was a 13.8 percentage point increase in annual screening rates. Conclusions. Anecdotes of detection of early-stage cancers relayed through social networks may substantially increase demand for a screening test even when the detection through screening was nonlifesaving. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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