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J Cancer Educ. 2018 Jun;33(3):602-609. doi: 10.1007/s13187-017-1237-0.

The Importance of Family History in Breast Cancer Patients in Primary Care Setting: a Cross-sectional Study.

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Family Medicine Department of Dokuz Eylul University, Inciralti, 35340,, Izmir, Turkey.
Family Medicine Department of Dokuz Eylul University, Inciralti, 35340,, Izmir, Turkey.
Medicine Specialist, Ministry of Health, 24th Family Health Center, Izmir, Turkey.


Screening recommendations of physicians are important for women to raise awareness about their risk factors and to promote appropriate screening behaviors. However, it seems challenging for primary care physicians (PCPs) to balance disease prevention and diagnosis, treatment. The objective of this study was to describe physicians' breast cancer consultancy practice including family history, cancer prevention issues for the women they care. This cross-sectional study included 577 women aged above 45 years, free of breast cancer, during their visits to their PCPs. Nearly half of the women reported their visit to PCPs for an annual examination during the year. Among them, 36.1% had first-degree relatives with cancer and 7.3% with breast cancer. But they reported to be asked about family history of cancer and informed about cancer prevention issues 35.1 and 26.4%, respectively. Cancer still seems to be a hard issue to be discussed, even with women visiting PCPs for annual examination. Asking first-degree relative with breast cancer can give PCPs the chance of determining women with increased risk and support women's appropriate understanding of their own risk in relation to their family history. This routine can make shared-decision making for developing person-centered approach for breast cancer screening possible. Further studies are needed for better understanding of loss of consultancy leadership of physicians for breast cancer.


Breast cancer; Family history; Prevention; Screening


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