Aim: To investigate gastric cancer screening and preventive behaviors among the relatives of patients with gastric cancer [i.e., gastric cancer relatives (GCRs)].
Methods: We examined the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005 (KNHANES III) database and compared the gastric cancer screening and preventive behaviors of GCRs (n = 261) with those of non-GCRs (n = 454) and controls without a family history of cancer (n = 2842).
Results: The GCRs were more likely to undergo gastric cancer screening compared with the control group (39.2% vs 32.3%, adjusted odds ratio: 1.43, CI: 1.05-1.95), although the absolute screening rate was low. Dietary patterns and smoking rates did not differ significantly between the groups, and a high proportion of GCRs reported inappropriate dietary habits (i.e., approximately 95% consumed excessive sodium, 30% were deficient in vitamin C, and 85% were deficient in dietary fiber).
Conclusion: The gastric cancer screening and preventive behaviors of GCRs have yet to be improved. To increase awareness among GCRs, systematic family education programs should be implemented.
Keywords: Cancer prevention; Cancer relatives; Family history of cancer; Gastric cancer screening; Preventive behaviors.