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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R03CA083378-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Fisher, Susan
Organization: Loyola University Chicago
Project Title: Behaviors After Familial Breast Cancer Mortality
Fiscal Year: 2000


While the etiology of breast cancer among most of the 180,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the U.S. remains elusive, approximately 10% of these cases are known to be hereditary. Family history has consistently been demonstrated to be the single, strongest factor in predicting individual risk, however, the rate of participation in breast cancer screenings among women with a family history of the disease is no greater than 50% similar to that of the general population. While the screening practices of women at risk of familial breast cancer have been associated with age, education, and objective and perceived breast cancer risk, these factors do not account for the significant variability in health behaviors among these women. It is apparent that there are unrecognized factors that are associated with screening compliance and that may better identify individuals requiring special interventions. No studies, to date, have examined the impact of the breast cancer experience, specifically, the morbidity and mortality of disease of an affective woman (proband), on her female relatives. While the experiences of an affected woman in no way alter the objective breast cancer risk of first degree relatives, they are likely to provoke significant repercussions on the health behaviors, perceived risk,, and mood status of these family members. The objectives of this study are: 1.) to establish a successful pattern of recruitment of first degree relatives of women previously diagnosed with breast cancer-related study participation, screening behaviors, perceived risk, and mood disturbances among first degree relatives at high risk of familial breast cancer. A study cohort consisting of 150 first degree relatives of women with breast cancer will be identified and categorized into two exposure groups defined according to the impact of the disease experience of the affective relative. The two groups will be compared as to screening behaviors, mood disturbances, knowledge regarding breast cancer, and perceived and absolute risk of disease. Identification of a factor which strongly determines screening behaviors of women at risk of familial breast cancer has important implications for research, education and clinical practice. If the experiences of the proband are demonstrated to be a significant factor in screening, a larger study will be planned to investigate the efficacy of a targeted intervention in improving long-term screening practices.



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