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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2018 Feb;27(2):162-170. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2016.6140. Epub 2017 May 4.

Young Women's Perceptions Regarding Communication with Healthcare Providers About Breast Cancer, Risk, and Prevention.

Author information

1
1 Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Atlanta, Georgia .
2
2 Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Atlanta, Georgia .
3
3 Oak Ridge Associated Universities , Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Women younger than 45 years old have lower rates of breast cancer, but higher risk of recurrence and mortality after a cancer diagnosis. African American women are at risk for early onset and increased mortality; Ashkenazi Jewish women are at risk for genetic mutations leading to breast and ovarian cancer. Although younger women are encouraged to talk to doctors about their family history, little is known about these discussions.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

In 2015, 167 women aged 18-44 years participated in 20 focus groups segmented by geographic location, age, race/ethnicity, and family history of breast and ovarian cancer. Transcript data were analyzed using NVivo 10 software.

RESULTS:

Although the majority of women talked to their doctor about breast and ovarian cancer, these conversations were brief and unsatisfying due to a lack of detail. Topics included family history, breast cancer screening, and breast self-examination. Some women with and without family history reported that healthcare providers offered screening and early detection advice based on their inquiries. However, few women took action or changed lifestyle behaviors with the intent to reduce risk as a result of the conversations.

CONCLUSIONS:

Conversations with young women revealed missed opportunities to: enhance patient-provider communication and increase knowledge about breast cancer screening and surveillance for higher risk patients. Physicians, allied health professionals, and the public health community can better assist women in getting accurate and timely information about breast and ovarian cancer, understanding their family history to determine risk, and increasing healthy behaviors.

KEYWORDS:

breast cancer; ovarian cancer; providers; young women

PMID:
28472603
PMCID:
PMC6074024
DOI:
10.1089/jwh.2016.6140
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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