Breast canceer early detection, health beliefs, and cancer worries in randomly selected women with and without a family history of breast cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Early detection practices (EDP) consist of clinical breast examination (CBE) and mammography. Breast self-examination (BSE) is no longer generally recommended, but many women still perform it. Aims: To compare EDP, health beliefs, and cancer worries in women with and without a family history of breast cancer in a population-based sample. Methods: 489 women aged 21-60 were randomly sampled from the entire Jewish female population of Israel; 61 (12.5%) had a family history of breast cancer. Participants answered questionnaires by phone, including demographic details, EDP performance, health beliefs, and cancer worries. Results: Rates of CBE were similar in women with and without a family history (p>0.05). For women over 40, rates of undergoing mammography screening were similar (p>0.05), but regular attendance was reported more by women with a family history (p<0.05). More women under 40 with a family history of breast cancer attended mammography (p<0.05), but only about 14% had ever undertaken mammography screening and 27% had ever undertaken CBE. More than 50% of the women had performed BSE, while significantly more women with a family history reported its over-performance (p<0.01). Women with a family history reported higher perceived susceptibility (p<0.01), higher cancer worries (p<0.05), and fewer barriers to mammography (p<0.05). According to logistic regression analysis, higher odds of EDP were significantly related to perceiving fewer barriers and having higher cancer worries. A positive family history was related to higher odds of women undergoing mammography. Perceived susceptibility was significantly related to higher odds of BSE only. Over-performance of BSE was significantly related to having a positive family history, higher susceptibility, and higher cancer worries. Conclusions: (1) A high rate of women did not undergo CBE or mammography screening. Women under 40 with a family history of breast cancer who have never undergone CBE or mammography merit special attention. (2) The change in guidelines on BSE necessitates further study of its over-performance in relation to cancer worries. (3) Interventions are needed to promote attendance for CBE and mammography in younger women with a positive family history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-883
Number of pages11
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume15
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer
  • Cancer worries
  • Early detection practices
  • Family history
  • Health beliefs
  • Oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Oncology

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