Is family history related to preventive health behaviors and medical management in breast cancer patients?
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Introduction.Women diagnosed with breast cancer who also have a family history of the disease are at increased risk of developing additional primary breast or ovarian cancers. We investigated whether a relationship exists between family history and health behaviors in a cross-sectional study of breast cancer survivors.
Methods.Participants in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Study (a randomized trial designed to test the effect of a plant-based diet on breast cancer recurrence) completed baseline questionnaires about their family history and health behaviors. Medical records and self-reports provided treatment data. Participants were defined as having a family history (FH+) if they met specific family history criteria (n=195), and were compared with women having no family history (FH−) of breast cancer (n=1736).
Results. The mean age of breast cancer diagnosis was 51.2 years for both groups, but FH+ women were more likely to be diagnosed before age 40. FH+ and FH− women had similar dietary patterns, alcohol intake, exercise patterns, body mass index and smoking histories. However, FH+ women were more likely to have undergone prophylactic contralateral mastectomy (OR=3.6, 95% CI=2.2 – 6.2) and bilateral oophorectomy (OR=1.6; 95% CI=1.0 – 2.3) following diagnosis, adjusted for age and time since diagnosis. The FH+ and FH− groups had similar patterns of use of anti-estrogen medications and frequency of medical follow-up.
Conclusions.Breast cancer survivors with a strong family history of breast cancer are more likely to␣undergo surgical preventive measures to reduce their risk of additional cancer, but do not report undertaking more preventive lifestyle behaviors compared to breast cancer survivors without a family history.
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- Is family history related to preventive health behaviors and medical management in breast cancer patients?
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
Volume 90, Issue 1 , pp 47-54
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
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- breast cancer
- family history
- health behaviors
- medical management
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Cancer Prevention and Control, Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center, University of California, SanDiego, 95000 Gilman Drive, San Diego, California, 92093-0901, USA
- 2. Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, USA