Women's health behaviour change after receiving breast cancer risk estimates with tailored screening and prevention recommendations.

L Rainey, der Waal D van, LS Donnelly, J Southworth, DP French, DG Evans, MJM Broeders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The Predicting Risk of Cancer at Screening (PROCAS) study provided women who were eligible for breast cancer screening in Greater Manchester (United Kingdom) with their 10-year risk of breast cancer, i.e., low (≤1.5%), average (1.5–4.99%), moderate (5.-7.99%) or high (≥8%). The aim of this study is to explore which factors were associated with women’s uptake of screening and prevention recommendations. Additionally, we evaluated women’s organisational preferences regarding tailored screening. Methods: A total of 325 women with a self-reported low (n = 60), average (n = 125), moderate (n = 80), or high (n = 60) risk completed a two-part web-based survey. The first part contained questions about personal characteristics. For the second part women were asked about uptake of early detection and preventive behaviours after breast cancer risk communication. Additional questions were posed to explore preferences regarding the organisation of risk-stratified screening and prevention. We performed exploratory univariable and multivariable regression analyses to assess which factors were associated with uptake of primary and secondary breast cancer preventive behaviours, stratified by breast cancer risk. Organisational preferences are presented using descriptive statistics. Results: Self-reported breast cancer risk predicted uptake of (a) supplemental screening and breast self-examination, (b) risk-reducing medication and (c) preventive lifestyle behaviours. Further predictors were (a) having a first degree relative with breast cancer, (b) higher age, and (c) higher body mass index (BMI). Women’s organisational preferences for tailored screening emphasised a desire for more intensive screening for women at increased risk by further shortening the screening interval and moving the starting age forward. Conclusions: Breast cancer risk communication predicts the uptake of key tailored primary and secondary preventive behaviours. Effective communication of breast cancer risk information is essential to optimise the population-wide impact of tailored screening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2022


  • Breast cancer
  • Prevention
  • Risk assessment
  • Screening
  • Uptake


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