Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 133, Issue 1, pp 357–366 | Cite as

Willingness to use tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer among diverse women

  • Celia Patricia Kaplan
  • Sue E. Kim
  • Sabrina T. Wong
  • George F. Sawaya
  • Judith M. E. Walsh
  • Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable


Use of chemoprevention to prevent development of breast cancer among high-risk women has been limited despite clinical evidence of its benefit. Our goals were to determine whether knowledge of the benefits and risks of tamoxifen affects a woman’s willingness to take it to prevent breast cancer, to define factors associated with willingness to take tamoxifen, and to evaluate race/ethnic differences. Women, ages 50–80, who identified as African American, Asian, Latina, or White, and who had at least one visit to a primary care physician in the previous 2 years, were recruited from ambulatory practices. After a screening telephone survey, women completed an in-person interview in their preferred language. Multivariate regression models were constructed to examine the associations of demographic characteristics, numeracy, breast cancer history, and health knowledge with willingness to take tamoxifen. Over 40% of the women reported they would likely take tamoxifen if determined to be at high risk, and 31% would be somewhat likely to do so. Asian women, those with no insurance, and those with less than high school education were significantly more likely to be willing to take tamoxifen. Higher scores on numeracy and on breast cancer knowledge were also associated with willingness to take tamoxifen. A higher tamoxifen knowledge score was inversely related to willingness to take the drug. Factors affecting women’s willingness to take breast cancer chemoprevention drugs vary and are not determined solely by knowledge of risk/benefit or risk perception.


Tamoxifen Breast cancer prevention Chemoprevention therapy Numeracy Minority populations 



This study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (5P01 HS10856) for an Excellence Center to Eliminate Ethnic/Racial Disparities (EXCEED) and by Grant P30-AG15272 under the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research program by the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health and by NIH/NCRR UCSF-CTSI Grant Number UL1 RR024131.

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celia Patricia Kaplan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Sue E. Kim
    • 4
  • Sabrina T. Wong
    • 5
  • George F. Sawaya
    • 2
    • 6
  • Judith M. E. Walsh
    • 1
    • 7
  • Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse PopulationsUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.Health and Barriers to EmploymentManpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC)OaklandUSA
  5. 5.Culture, Gender, and Health Unit, School of Nursing, Centre for Health Services and Policy ResearchUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  6. 6.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive SciencesUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  7. 7.Women’s Health Clinical Research CenterUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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