Twenty six per cent of the women had found the former test painful, and a minority also reported embarrassment (7%) or distress (6%).Women who did not through a second examination were significantly more likely than those who did to report the former screening test as embarrassing or distressing and were considerably less likely to have found the clinic examiners helpful or attendance for screening worthwhile or reassuring
Of the 1582 women who were examined, 1408 (89.0%) reattended. These women felt no breast tenderness
or just had mild pain, so they considered a mammogram again. The grade of discomfort was lightly greater in women who complained of breast tenderness within three days prior to the mammogram but was not openly related to age, menstrual status, or week of the menstrual cycle.
Women rated their experience on a six-point level ranging from no discomfort to
intense pain. Eighty-eight percent of the women felt no discomfort (49%) or mild discomfort (39%). Only 9% experienced moderate discomfort; 1%, intense discomfort; and 1%, moderate pain. In other words, the breast tenderness
was not strong enough to interrupt a second test.
The investigation showed that a minority of women agreed with the statement that the test had produced breast tenderness
. In terms of overall reactions to the experience, most women considered the breast cancer screening was worthwhile.