Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare health behaviors and cancer screening among Californians with and without a family history of cancer.
Methods: We analyzed data from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey to ascertain cancer screening test use and to estimate the prevalence of health behaviors that may reduce the risk of cancer. We used logistic regression to control for demographic factors and health-care access.
Results: Women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer were more likely to be up to date with mammography as compared with women with no family history of cancer (odds ratio = 1.69, 95% confidence interval (1.39, 2.04)); their health behaviors were similar to other women. Men and women with a family history of colorectal cancer were more likely to be up to date with colorectal cancer screening as compared with individuals with no family history of cancer (odds ratio = 2.77, 95% confidence interval (2.20, 3.49)) but were less likely to have a body mass index <25 kg/m(2) (odds ratio = 0.80, 95% confidence interval (0.67, 0.94)).
Conclusion: Innovative methods are needed to encourage those with a moderate-to-strong familial risk for breast cancer and colorectal cancer to increase their physical activity levels, strive to maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, and reduce alcohol use.Genet Med 2013:15(3):212-221.