Influences on anticipated time to ovarian cancer symptom presentation in women at increased risk compared to population risk of ovarian cancer.
ABSTRACT: In the absence of routine ovarian cancer screening, promoting help-seeking in response to ovarian symptoms is a potential route to early diagnosis. The factors influencing women's anticipated time to presentation with potential ovarian cancer symptoms were examined.Cross-sectional questionnaires were completed by a sample of women at increased familial risk (n?=?283) and population risk (n?=?1043) for ovarian cancer. Measures included demographic characteristics, symptom knowledge, anticipated time to symptom presentation, and health beliefs (perceived susceptibility, worry, perceived threat, confidence in symptom detection, benefits and barriers to presentation). Structural equation modelling was used to identify determinants of anticipated time to symptomatic presentation in both groups.Associations between health beliefs and anticipated symptom presentation differed according to risk group. In increased risk women, high perceived susceptibility (r?=?.35***), ovarian cancer worry (r?=?.98**), perceived threat (r?=?-.18**), confidence (r?=?.16**) and perceiving more benefits than barriers to presentation (r?=?-.34**), were statistically significant in determining earlier anticipated presentation. The pattern was the same for population risk women, except ovarian cancer worry (r?=?.36) and perceived threat (r?=?-.03) were not statistically significant determinants.Associations between underlying health beliefs and anticipated presentation differed according to risk group. Women at population risk had higher symptom knowledge and anticipated presenting in shorter time frames than the increased risk sample. The cancer worry component of perceived threat was a unique predictor in the increased risk group. In increased risk women, the worry component of perceived threat may be more influential than susceptibility aspects in influencing early presentation behaviour, highlighting the need for ovarian symptom awareness interventions with tailored content to minimise cancer-related worry in this population.
Project description:Scientific reports suggest that women at risk for familial breast cancer may benefit from prophylactic mastectomy. However, few data are available about how women decide upon this clinical option, and in particular, what role an objective risk assessment plays in this. The purpose of the present study is to assess whether this objective risk information provided in genetic counselling affects the intention for prophylactic mastectomy. Additionally, the (mediating) effects of breast cancer worry and perceived risk are investigated. A total of 241 women completed a questionnaire before and after receiving information about their familial lifetime breast cancer risk in a genetic counselling session. Path analysis showed that the objective risk information had a corrective effect on perceived risk (beta=0.38; P=0.0001), whereas the amount of breast cancer worry was not influenced by the counselling session. The objective risk information did not directly affect the intention for prophylactic mastectomy. The intention was influenced by perceived risk after counselling (beta=0.23; P=0.002), and by the precounselling levels of perceived risk (beta=0.27; P=0.00025) and breast cancer worry (beta=0.32; P=0.0001), that is, higher levels of perceived risk and breast cancer worry imply a stronger intention for prophylactic mastectomy. A personal history of breast cancer did not directly influence the intention for prophylactic mastectomy, but affected women who had undergone a mastectomy as surgical treatment were more positively inclined to have a prophylactic mastectomy than women who had had breast-conserving therapy. The impact of objective risk information on the intention for prophylactic mastectomy is limited and is mediated by perceived risk. Important determinants of the intention for prophylactic mastectomy were precounselling levels of breast cancer worry and perceived risk, suggesting that genetic counselling is only one event in the entire process of decision making. Therefore, interventions aimed at improving decision making on prophylactic mastectomy should explicitly address precounselling factors, such as personal beliefs and the psychological impact of the family medical history.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Genetic risk assessment for breast cancer and ovarian cancer (BCOC) is expected to make major inroads into mainstream clinical practice. It is important to evaluate the potential impact on women ahead of its implementation in order to maximise health benefits, as predictive genetic testing without adequate support could lead to adverse psychological and behavioural responses to risk disclosure. OBJECTIVE:To examine anticipated health behaviour changes and perceived control to disclosure of genetic risk for BCOC and establish demographic and person-specific correlates of adverse anticipated responses in a population-based sample of women. DESIGN:Cross-sectional quantitative survey study carried out by the UK Office for National Statistics in January and March 2014. SETTING:Face-to-face computer-assisted interviews conducted by trained researchers in participants' homes. PARTICIPANTS:837 women randomly chosen from households across the UK identified from the Royal Mail's Postcode Address File. OUTCOME MEASURES:Anticipated health behaviour change and perceived control to disclosure of BCOC risk. RESULTS:In response to a genetic test result, most women (72%) indicated 'I would try harder to have a healthy lifestyle', and over half (55%) felt 'it would give me more control over my life'. These associations were independent of demographic factors or perceived risk of BCOC in Bonferroni-corrected multivariate analyses. However, a minority of women (14%) felt 'it isn't worth making lifestyle changes' and that 'I would feel less free to make choices in my life' (16%) in response to BCOC risk disclosure. The former belief was more likely to be held by women who were educated below university degree level (P<0.001) after adjusting for other demographic and person-specific correlates. CONCLUSION:These findings indicate that women in the UK largely anticipate that they would engage in positive health behaviour changes in response to BCOC risk disclosure.
Project description:Delay in symptomatic presentation leading to advanced stage at diagnosis may contribute to poor cancer survival. To inform public health approaches to promoting early symptomatic presentation, we aimed to identify risk factors for delay in presentation across several cancers.We surveyed 2371 patients with 15 cancers about nature and duration of symptoms using a postal questionnaire. We calculated relative risks for delay in presentation (time from symptom onset to first presentation >3 months) by cancer, symptoms leading to diagnosis and reasons for putting off going to the doctor, controlling for age, sex and deprivation group.Among 1999 cancer patients reporting symptoms, 21% delayed presentation for >3 months. Delay was associated with greater socioeconomic deprivation but not age or sex. Patients with prostate (44%) and rectal cancer (37%) were most likely to delay and patients with breast cancer least likely to delay (8%). Urinary difficulties, change of bowel habit, systemic symptoms (fatigue, weight loss and loss of appetite) and skin symptoms were all common and associated with delay. Overall, patients with bleeding symptoms were no more likely to delay presentation than patients who did not have bleeding symptoms. However, within the group of patients with bleeding symptoms, there were significant differences in risk of delay by source of bleeding: 35% of patients with rectal bleeding delayed presentation, but only 9% of patients with urinary bleeding. A lump was a common symptom but not associated with delay in presentation. Twenty-eight percent had not recognised their symptoms as serious and this was associated with a doubling in risk of delay. Embarrassment, worry about what the doctor might find, being too busy to go to the doctor and worry about wasting the doctor's time were also strong risk factors for delay, but were much less commonly reported (<6%).Approaches to promote early presentation should aim to increase awareness of the significance of cancer symptoms and should be designed to work for people of the lowest socioeconomic status. In particular, awareness that rectal bleeding is a possible symptom of cancer should be raised.
Project description:Women with a documented deleterious mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 are at substantially elevated risk for ovarian cancer. To understand what percentage of women with high-risk family histories know their risk is elevated we surveyed 1,885 women with a high- or moderate-risk family history and no personal history of breast or ovarian cancer, and asked about their perceived risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Among high-risk women, fewer than 20% reported use of genetic counseling, and knowledge of elevated risk of ovarian cancer was low. Prior genetic counseling was associated with greater perceived risk for ovarian cancer. Results suggest that most high-risk women (>75%) do not know their risk for ovarian cancer. Identification of potentially high-risk women for referral to genetic counseling may improve informed ovarian cancer risk management.
Project description:Background: Persistent breast pain (PBP) is prevalent among breast cancer survivors and has powerful negative psychological consequences. The present study provided a first test of the hypothesis that: (a) pain catastrophizing, (b) heightened perceived risk of cancer, and (c) worry that pain indicates cancer may be independent mediating links between breast cancer survivors' experiences of PBP and heightened emotional distress. Methodology: We assessed levels of PBP and psychological factors in breast cancer survivors (Survivor Group: n?=?417; Stages I-IIIA; White = 88.7%; Age M?=?59.4 years) at their first surveillance mammogram post-surgery (6-15 months). A comparison group of women without histories of breast surgery or cancer (Non-cancer Group: n?=?587; White = 78.7%; Age M?=?57.4 years) was similarly assessed at the time of a routine screening mammogram. All women completed measures of breast pain, pain catastrophizing, perceived breast cancer risk, and worry that breast pain indicates cancer, as well as measures of emotional distress (symptoms of anxiety, symptoms of depression, and mammography-specific distress). Analyses included race, age, BMI, education, and menopausal status as covariates, with significance set at 0.05. Results: As expected, PBP prevalence was significantly higher in the Survivor Group than in the Non-cancer Group (50.6% vs. 17.5%). PBP+ survivors also had significantly higher levels of emotional distress, pain catastrophizing, mammography-specific distress, and worry that breast pain indicates cancer, compared to PBP- survivors. Structural equation modeling results were significant for all hypothesized mediational pathways. Interestingly, comparisons of PBP+?to PBP-?women in the Non-cancer Group showed similar results. Conclusion: These findings suggest the importance of (a) pain catastrophizing, (b) perceived breast cancer risk and, (c) worry that breast pain may indicate cancer, as potential targets for interventions aimed at reducing the negative psychological impact of PBP in post-surgery breast cancer survivors, as well as in unaffected women with PBP due to unknown reasons.
Project description:There are wide international differences in 1-year cancer survival. The UK and Denmark perform poorly compared with other high-income countries with similar health care systems: Australia, Canada and Sweden have good cancer survival rates, Norway intermediate survival rates. The objective of this study was to examine the pattern of differences in cancer awareness and beliefs across these countries to identify where these might contribute to the pattern of survival.We carried out a population-based telephone interview survey of 19079 men and women aged ? 50 years in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK using the Awareness and Beliefs about Cancer measure.Awareness that the risk of cancer increased with age was lower in the UK (14%), Canada (13%) and Australia (16%) but was higher in Denmark (25%), Norway (29%) and Sweden (38%). Symptom awareness was no lower in the UK and Denmark than other countries. Perceived barriers to symptomatic presentation were highest in the UK, in particular being worried about wasting the doctor's time (UK 34%; Canada 21%; Australia 14%; Denmark 12%; Norway 11%; Sweden 9%).The UK had low awareness of age-related risk and the highest perceived barriers to symptomatic presentation, but symptom awareness in the UK did not differ from other countries. Denmark had higher awareness of age-related risk and few perceived barriers to symptomatic presentation. This suggests that other factors must be involved in explaining Denmark's poor survival rates. In the UK, interventions that address barriers to prompt presentation in primary care should be developed and evaluated.
Project description:Limited empirical data are available on the effects of genetic counseling and testing among African American women.To evaluate the effects of genetic counseling and testing in African American women based on different levels of exposure: (a) women who were randomized to culturally tailored (CTGC) and standard genetic counseling (SGC) to women who declined randomization (non-randomized group), (b) participants and non-participants in genetic counseling, and (c) BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) test result acceptors and decliners.Randomized trial of genetic counseling conducted from February 2003 to November 2006.We evaluated changes in perceived risk of developing breast cancer and cancer worry.Women randomized to CTGC and SGC did not differ in terms of changes in risk perception and cancer worry compared to decliners. However, counseling participants had a significantly greater likelihood of reporting reductions in perceived risk compared to non-participants (p = 0.03). Test result acceptors also had a significantly greater likelihood of reporting decreases in cancer worry (p = 0.03). However, having a cancer history (p = 0.03) and a BRCA1/2 prior probability (p = 0.04) were associated with increases in cancer worry.Although CTGC did not lead to significant improvements in perceived risk or psychological functioning, African American women may benefit from genetic counseling and testing. Continued efforts should be made to increase access to genetic counseling and testing among African American women at increased risk for hereditary disease. But, follow-up support may be needed for women who have a personal history of cancer and those with a greater prior probability of having a BRCA1/2 mutation.
Project description:Lung cancer screening is effective at reducing lung cancer deaths when individuals at greatest risk are screened. Recruitment initiatives target all current and former smokers, of whom only some are eligible for screening, potentially leading to discordance between screening preference and eligibility in ineligible individuals. The objective of the present study was to identify factors associated with preference for screening among ever-smokers. Ever-smokers aged 55-80?years attending outpatient clinics at three Australian hospitals were invited. The survey recorded: 1) demographics; 2) objective lung cancer risk and screening eligibility using the Prostate Lung Colon Ovarian 2012 risk model; and 3) perceived lung cancer risk, worry about and seriousness of lung cancer using a validated questionnaire. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression identified predictors of screening preference. The survey was completed by 283 individuals (response rate 27%). Preference for screening was high (72%) with no significant difference between low-dose computed tomography screening-eligible and -ineligible individuals (77% versus 68%, p=0.11). Worry about lung cancer (adjusted-proportional odds ratio (adj-OR) 1.31, 95% CI 1.08-1.58; p=0.007) and perceived seriousness of lung cancer (adj-OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.05-1.64; p=0.02) were associated with higher preference for lung cancer screening while screening eligibility was not. The concept of "early detection" was the most important driver to have screening while practical obstacles like difficulty travelling to the scan or taking time off work were the least important barriers to screening. Most current or former smokers prefer to undergo screening. Worry about lung cancer and perceived seriousness of the diagnosis are more important drivers for screening preference than eligibility status.
Project description:Surveys indicate quite high prevalence of cancer worry in the general population, but little is known about what it is about cancer that worries people. A better understanding of the origins of cancer worry may help elucidate previously found inconsistencies in its behavioural effect on cancer prevention, screening uptake, and help-seeking for symptoms. In this study, we explore the prevalence and population distribution of general cancer worry and worries about specific aspects of cancer previously identified.A population-based survey of 2048 English adults (18-70 years, April-May 2016), using face-to-face interviews to assess demographic characteristics, general cancer worry and twelve sources of cancer worry (adapted from an existing scale), including the emotional, physical, and social consequences of a diagnosis.In general, a third of respondents (37%) never worried about cancer, 57% worried occasionally/sometimes, and 6% often/very often. In terms of specific worries, two thirds would be 'quite a bit' or 'extremely' worried about the threat to life and emotional upset a diagnosis would cause. Half would worry about surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and loss of control over life. Worries about the social consequences were less commonly anticipated: just under half would worry about financial problems or their social roles, and a quarter would be worried about effects on identity, important relationships, gender role, and sexuality. Women and younger people reported more frequent worry about getting cancer, and would be more worried about the emotional, physical, and social consequences of a cancer diagnosis (p?<?.001). Those from ethnic minority backgrounds reported less frequent worry about getting cancer than their white counterparts, but would be equally worried about the emotional and physical impact of a cancer diagnosis, and worried more about the social consequences of a cancer diagnosis (p?<?.05).The majority of English adults worry at least occasionally about getting cancer, and would be most worried about the emotional and physical impact of a cancer diagnosis. Distinguishing between the various worries that cancer can evoke may help inform efforts to allay undue worries in those who are deterred by them from engaging with cancer prevention and early detection.
Project description:This multi-centre UK study assesses the impact of predictive testing for breast and ovarian cancer predisposition genes (BRCA1/2) in the clinical context. In the year following predictive testing, 261 adults (59 male) from nine UK genetics centres participated; 91 gene mutation carriers and 170 noncarriers. Self-report questionnaires were completed at baseline (pre-genetic testing) and 1, 4 and 12 months following the genetic test result. Men were assessed for general mental health (by general health questionnaire (GHQ)) and women for general mental health, cancer-related worry, intrusive and avoidant thoughts, perception of risk and risk management behaviour. Main comparisons were between female carriers and noncarriers on all measures and men and women for general mental health. Female noncarriers benefited psychologically, with significant reductions in cancer-related worry following testing (P<0.001). However, younger female carriers (<50 years) showed a rise in cancer-related worry 1 month post-testing (P<0.05). This returned to pre-testing baseline levels 12 months later, but worry remained significantly higher than noncarriers throughout (P<0.01). There were no significant differences in GHQ scores between males and females (both carriers and noncarriers) at any time point. Female carriers engaged in significantly more risk management strategies than noncarriers in the year following testing (e.g. mammograms; 92% carriers vs 30% noncarriers). In the 12 months post-testing, 28% carriers had bilateral risk-reducing mastectomy and 31% oophorectomy. Oophorectomy was confined to older (mean 41 yrs) women who already had children. However, worry about cancer was not assuaged by surgery following genetic testing, and this requires further investigation. In all, 20% of female carriers reported insurance problems. The data show persistent worry in younger female gene carriers and confirm changes in risk management consistent with carrier status. Men were not adversely affected by genetic testing in terms of their general mental health.