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mammography, breast screeningThe breast: sensitive topic?

Here’s an interesting blog about mammography. It takes an informal approach in the way it talks about breast screening; where words such as ‘boobs’, ‘cans’ and ‘puppies’ are used to describe breasts.

The WoMMeN project team have spent a couple of years exploring women’s perceptions of the breast and breast screening. One of the things particularly interesting is the different ways in which women think of and talk about their breasts. Some take a fairly objective view, seeing their breasts as functional organs; just another feature of their anatomy. For others, the breast strikes at the very core of what defines them as a woman.

Talk, breast screening, mammographyPitching the mammography message

This means it can be really hard for health professionals to pitch information at the right level in terms of formality. It’s important to gauge the words used in the message so that it doesn’t come across as overly ‘prudish’ on the one hand nor insensitive on the other.

This is even more problematic in online conversations which are, by nature, more informal. We’ve been working with mammography practitioners on how to communicate about breast screening through social media because this is where patients are turning for information. They have said they need more help in getting the message right so we need to know clients think.

So what about has this gauged the level right or is it too informal? What about the WoMMeN hub – too formal?

We’d love to hear your views.